Humphrey School News—June 8, 2015

Humphrey School Honors Life and Legacy of Walter F. Mondale

Yearlong series of events coincides with annual Public Leadership Awards recognizing individuals and organizations for leadership and service

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 Mondale public affairs student scholarships, and the naming of the Humphrey School’s public gathering space in Mr. Mondale’s honor.

This tribute will publicly commence at the Humphrey School’s annual Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Awards on June 30, where the School will recognize 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. A celebration in Washington, DC, in October will include a daylong policy forum, followed by a dinner. 

Humphrey School Dean Eric Schwartz noted that “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. The awards ceremony on June 30 will represent a Minnesota celebration of Mr. Mondale’s life and contributions. And 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 will recognize the following individuals and organizations with awards:

Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Leadership
Walter F. Mondale

Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Awards
Center for Victims of Torture
Imam Sharif A. Mohamed
3M Company
Andrew M. Luger
Katherine Siggerud
Melvin W. Carter III

Recipients will be honored at a gala dinner on Tuesday, June 30, at the McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak St. S.E. in Minneapolis. Tickets are $150, of which $75 is a tax-deductible contribution. Proceeds from the event benefit the Mondale student scholarship initiative. To learn more about the award recipients and ticket information, visit

In addition to the above “Minnesota celebration,” this initiative to honor Mr. Mondale includes:

  • Washington, DC, Celebration, October 20, 2015—The Mondale Policy Legacy, a daylong 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.

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