Bush daughters go different ways for college

Thursday, August 31st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

AUSTIN – One of Gov. George W. Bush's twin daughters started classes at the University of Texas on Wednesday, nearly 1,600 miles from Yale University, the Ivy League school where her sister begins studies next week.

Jenna Bush was one of about 7,500 freshmen at Texas.

Her sister, Barbara, will be part of a smaller class of 1,352 entering Yale in New Haven, Conn., where classes start Sept. 6.

Barbara will be the fourth generation of Bushes to attend Yale, following her father, the GOP presidential nominee; her grandfather, former President George Bush; and great-grandfather, the late Sen. Prescott Bush of Connecticut.

Mum's the word on the Bush daughters. Citing the family's desire to keep their children out of the public spotlight, Kim Black, a spokeswoman for mother Laura Bush, would say only that both girls had left home. Both universities and Laura Bush declined to discuss the daughters' college plans.

Yale officials are used to high-profile students, including actresses Claire Danes, Kellie Martin and Jodie Foster and Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria. Stanford University also takes a hard line against giving out information about President Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, who is taking the fall semester off to campaign for her mother's New York Senate race.

"There was a lot of publicity the first year she was here" in 1997, Stanford spokeswoman Dawn Levy said, but the attention declined after the university asked reporters to treat Chelsea Clinton like every other student.

The Bush twins graduated in May from Stephen F. Austin High School in Austin, where Jenna was dubbed "most likely to trip on prom night" and Barbara was named "most likely to appear on the cover of Vogue."

They both told their parents that they wanted to have little involvement in their father's presidential campaign, and they have managed to stay out of the public spotlight.

Not so for their political star cousin, George P. Bush, 24, who started classes Wednesday at the University of Texas law school in Austin. The son of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush made campaign appearances for his uncle during the summer and spoke at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.