Humphrey School News

President Bill Clinton Accepts Dean's Award for Public Leadership

June 10, 2014
Bill Clinton

Minneapolis, MN (6/10/14)—During a 70-minute address before some 2,700 students, community members and public officials at the University of Minnesota, President Bill Clinton offered wide-ranging perspectives on progress achieved and challenges ahead on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He praised the leadership and bipartisanship of the School’s namesake, Hubert Humphrey, in securing the votes that ended the 1964 Senate filibuster of that landmark legislation, noting that “Humphrey always knew the difference between compromising to get something done that will really advance your cause and compromising on the cause itself.” The former president urged progress on contemporary issues involving social justice, from immigration to healthcare to voting rights, and urged students to follow Humphrey’s example and engage in civil dialogue with political adversaries, noting that, as a nation, “we are still too divided,” and adding that we should work “to assert our common humanity over our important and interesting differences.”

At the event, Humphrey School Dean Eric Schwartz presented President Clinton with the Dean’s Award for Public Leadership. In his remarks, Dean Schwartz commented in particular, on the former President’s dedication to reaching across political boundaries to find common ground, and to sustain and strengthen civility in public life.

In honor of the namesake of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a favorite son of Minnesota, Hubert H. Humphrey, the Public Leadership Awards honor individuals who have contributed to the common good through leadership and service.

At a separate event in late June, Dean Schwartz and the Humphrey School will present additional Public Leadership Awards during an annual gala dinner at the McNamara Alumni Center.

Schwartz added that the visit by President Clinton to the Humphrey School is particularly appropriate, as he has also talked about his love and admiration for the School’s namesake, Hubert Humphrey, crediting Humphrey for helping to change the course of America through his work on civil rights.

Proceeds from the event will support public affairs student scholarships designed to promote diversity and inclusion in the spirit of the Civil Rights Act.

The event was co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, the Center on Women and Public Policy, the Human Capital Research Collaborative, and the Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice.

Bill Clinton Speech at 2014 Public Leadership Awards

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