The elder Bush was among the five current and former presidents on the dais under sunny skies outside of the George W. Bush Presidential Library on the Southern Methodist University campus.
Bush, beset by illness in recent months, attended the dedication in a wheelchair. He shared the stage with his son, former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, and President Obama, and their wives.
"This is very special to Barb and me," Bush said.
After his brief comments, the elder Bush leaned over to son and asked, "Too long?"
Warm applause, cheers and whistles of approval got him to his feet, supported by his wife and son.