BENTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) President George W. Bush is returning to Michigan for the first time since leaving office in January.

He plans to speak Thursday evening to members of The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan. The event is to take place at Lake Michigan College in Berrien County's Benton Township.

Bush spokesman Rob Saliterman (suh-LIT'-er-muhn) says the former president will discuss his eight years in the Oval Office, his transition to life after the White House and his outlook on the challenges facing the world.

Saliterman says Bush also will answer questions from the audience.

In a speech last week to graduating high school students in New Mexico, Bush said "it's a liberating feeling" to be free of the mantle of responsibility that comes with the office of president.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.