Austin philanthropist featured in George W. Bush’s new book that highlights immigrants


AUSTIN (KXAN) — A local philanthropist originally from central Africa is being featured in former President George W. Bush’s new book.

The book, called “Out of Many, One,” is a collection of 43 portraits of immigrants painted by Bush himself. It highlights each immigrant’s personal journey to America and the successes they’ve found here.

One of the personal stories you’ll read is from Gilbert Tuhabonye, who escaped a massacre in the Tutsi-Hutu war of Burundi in the 90s, according to his website.

“When I was in high school, a tragic accident happened when my school was attacked — I spent eight hours in a burning building, and luckily I escaped, and I ran, I came here,” Tuhabonye said.

In America, Tuhabonye attended Abilene Christian University, where he ran track on a full scholarship. He moved to Austin, which he describes as his “favorite place to be,” in 2001.

He now operates Gilbert’s Gazelles, a running training group in Austin, coaches cross country and track and has founded the Gazelle Foundation, a nonprofit focused on providing clean water to the people of his home country Burundi.

Tuhabonye is not just featured in the book — he’s on the cover. He said it’s a privilege to be among the 43 portraits.

“It’s such a huge honor; I’m very grateful,” he said.

As a runner himself, he’s looking forward to watching people he’s coached in the Austin Half Marathon this weekend.

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