SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) -- In the early 80's, a Sherman middle school mailed over 200 letters to people the students admired and considered successful.
About 100 people responded, one of those was the late President George H.W. Bush. He was Vice President at the time.
They asked the people what is the key in achieving success, whether that be a motivation, idea, even an experience.
The purpose was to teach students how to set goals, a project Mr. Bush praises in the letter.
"Each of us is called to special gifts or jobs. But all of us are called to excellence. It is vital that we teach integrity, industry and humility to our youth," the letter reads.
"You never know what ripple effect an idea is going to obtain," said former Piner Middle School principal Dr. Jack Noble.
Noble and the librarian at the time wanted to motivate their students going into a new decade.
"We would identify some people who our students felt like had been successful in their work, or successful in life," Noble said.
And send them a letter.
"We let the students pick the people," he said.
Singers, authors, poets, athletes. Tom Landry, Roy Clark, Jacques Cousteau, to name a few.
And one addressed from the Vice President of the United States on December 28, 1983.
"He was a peacemaker sort of person. And so we need more of who he was right now," Noble said.
A correspondence Noble treasures.
"He was a man of strong faith, a great loss to America really," he said.
Mr. Bush charged the Sherman students with a goal he decided early on. To try to do their best, no matter their job or circumstance.
"Each job, as every person, deserves respect and commitment," the letter reads.
Mr. Bush was laid to rest Thursday in College Station.
He ended the letter with this line, "Our children are our future, and in the guidance and examples we give them lies our greatest hope."