Bush Center Intern Has Personal 9/11 Connection

Christina Rancke

Several SMU students have served as Bush Institute interns as the George W. Bush Presidential Center has been built on campus. But one of them has a personal connection to one of the key moments in Bush’s presidency.

Christina Rancke, a senior majoring in corporate communications, began working for the George W. Bush Presidential Center a decade, to the month, after losing her father, Alfred Todd Rancke, in one of the World Trade Center tower collapses on Sept. 11, 2001.

After helping plan SMU’s 10th anniversary commemoration of the national tragedy, Christina landed one of the earliest internships at the Bush Center. This week, she saw for the first time a solemn 9/11 exhibit at the Bush Center museum, where a dimly lit section features massive twisted steel beams recovered from the fallen towers.

“It’s been an amazing experience to watch history in the making, and help promote the center’s value to SMU and the world,” she said in a press release issued before Thursday’s dedication ceremony. “But when I see the 9/11 space, the impact on me personally will be powerful.”

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