Humphrey School News

Humphrey Public Leadership Awards Coincide with Yearlong Campaign to Honor Walter F. Mondale

July 22, 2015
Public Leadership Award Winners

As a special tribute to honor the life and legacy of Walter F. Mondale, the Humphrey School of Public Affairs is hosting a yearlong series of events and initiatives commemorating his contributions to public life. The initiative includes events in Minneapolis and Washington, DC, a $2.2 million campaign to raise money for student scholarships, and the naming of the Humphrey School’s public gathering space in Mr. Mondale’s honor. The fundraising goals and progress were announced publicly last month, at the Humphrey School’s annual Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Awards, where the School recognized Mr. Mondale and six other individuals and organizations for their work and progress on issues of access to justice, civil and human rights, and government accountability that have characterized the career of our nation’s 42nd Vice President.

In accepting his award, Mr. Mondale said, “If I had one hope in my public life, it was the ongoing quest for social justice in America. That’s what I believed, that’s what believe, and that’s what I will believe as long as I’m alive. And, I believe more than ever today civil rights, access to justice, equality for men and women and human rights are still the issues of our future.” 

At the awards ceremony on the University of Minnesota campus, which was dubbed a “Minnesota celebration” of Mr. Mondale’s career and attended by more than 450 guests, Humphrey School Dean Eric Schwartz announced the establishment of the Walter F. Mondale Fellowship Fund. He noted that the effort has garnered gifts totaling more than $1 million, thanks to generous commitments from corporate groups like United Health Foundation and Delta, and individuals including former Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin and former White House Chief of Staff and Commerce Secretary Bill Daley, and others. Dean Schwartz also announced a contribution from University alumnus James A. Johnson, in honor of his father, former Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives A.I. Johnson. See the attached link for information on the creation of a special Mondale−Johnson Fund.

Dean Schwartz says “no senior public figure has played a more central role in the life of the Humphrey School than Walter Mondale, from his work in establishing the School, a living legacy to his friend Hubert Humphrey, to his initiation of what has become our Policy Fellows program, to his continued role as a distinguished instructor at the Humphrey School. By also recognizing other individuals and organizations that stand for principles that have animated Mr. Mondale’s career, we hope to illustrate the broad and enduring impact that his life’s work has had on Minnesotans and other Americans, as well as on the institutions of governance.” 

The Humphrey School recognized the following individuals and organizations with 2015 Public Leadership Awards: 

Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Leadership
Walter F. Mondale42nd Vice President of the United States, senior counsel with Dorsey & Whitney LLP, former U.S. Senator, former Minnesota Attorney General, and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, for his lifelong contributions to public life and to the common good, in Minnesota, the nation, and the world 

Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Awards
Center for Victims of Torture—International nonprofit organization, for extraordinary efforts in support of human rights and government transparency, and care for survivors of torture and war

Imam Sharif A. MohamedImam, Islamic Civic Society of America/Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque and Cofounder, Open Path Resources, for his commitment to the civic development of the East African immigrant community in Minnesota, and promotion of intercommunal understanding and tolerance

3M CompanyCorporate citizen dedicated to access to justice, for its leadership in coalition-building, advocacy, and provision of pro bono legal services

Andrew M. Luger—United States Attorney, District of Minnesota, for his commitment to accountability, and to community engagement, dialogue, and partnership

Katherine Siggerud(Humphrey School MA 1987), Managing Director of Congressional Relations, Government Accountability Office, for her work on behalf of federal government accountability and transparency

Melvin W. Carter III—(Humphrey School MPP 2011), Executive Director, Minnesota Children’s Cabinet and former Saint Paul City Councilman, for his achievements relating to equity and inclusion, social justice, and the well-being of youth in our community

In addition to the Public Leadership Awards presentation in Minneapolis, this initiative to honor Mr. Mondale includes:

-Washington, DC, Celebration, October 20, 2015—The Mondale Policy Legacy, a half-day public forum, will focus on such issues as civil rights, national security and the Constitution, the Mondale Vice Presidency, and crucial issues of the Carter Administration. In addition, a reception and dinner later that day will include President Jimmy Carter and other friends, former staff, and colleagues of the Vice President; public officials; alumni from the University of Minnesota; and members of the public. 
-Walter F. Mondale Fellowship Program—The Humphrey School will create an endowed scholarship fund named for Mr. Mondale, who himself faced substantial challenges in financing his college and legal education, and became a champion in the Senate both for access to education and for the entry of young people into public service.
-Naming of the Mondale Atrium—The Humphrey School will dedicate the Walter Mondale Atrium, in addition to making capital improvements to this central public gathering space of the School.

About Walter F. Mondale: 

Born in Ceylon, Minnesota, and educated at Macalester College and the University of Minnesota, Walter Mondale has served as Minnesota Attorney General, U.S. Senator, U.S. Vice President, and U.S. Ambassador to Japan. He currently is senior counsel with Dorsey & Whitney LLP in Minneapolis. 

Whether it was his landmark effort as Minnesota Attorney General to ensure the right to counsel for indigent criminal defendants, his championing as United States Senator of fair housing legislation, or his role in working to balance individual liberties and homeland security by holding intelligence agencies accountable, he has made enormous contributions to the strength and durability of our democratic institutions.

Few, if any, individual public officials have played a more significant role in the life of the Humphrey School. Mr. Mondale played a key role in the establishment of the Humphrey Center, which hosts the School. He established the highly regarded Policy Fellows Program, which now boasts nearly 800 former participants occupying positions of importance in government, the non-governmental community, and the private sector. He serves as a long-standing member of the Humphrey School Dean’s Advisory Council, and to this date, he is one of the School’s most popular instructors.

Social media posts from the 13th Annual Public Leadership Awards on June 30:

Vice President Mondale on request to honor him @HHHSchool #HHHPLA, he agreed but only if event was abt honoring others. That is leadership. (Lars Leafblad)

Moments like @HHHSchool #HHHPLA dinner make me proud to be a Minnesotan. 500+ people celebrating public service, not partisanship.

Hurray for Imam Sharif Mohamed on receiving #HHHPLA! So grateful I got to know him in the @HHHSchool #policyfellows program (Kate Knuth)

Thanks @teamtunheim for your support for @HHHSchool Public Leadership Awards and their mission to promote the common good.

Walter Mondale: 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

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