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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Tribute to Vice President Walter F. Mondale ('56)

Vice President Walter F. Mondale ('56) (1928-2021) was a great friend to the Law School that bears his name, and its Law Library.  The Riesenfeld Center joins the rest of the Law School community in mourning the passing of the former Vice President.  Mr. Mondale was a great example of decency and of principled public service throughout his long career.  As Dean Garry W. Jenkins said in a recent Minnesota Law tribute, "As a politician, public servant, diplomat, and lawyer, Walter Mondale exemplified the values of leadership and service that we seek to foster at Minnesota Law."

During his life, Mr. Mondale donated generously to the Law School's archives photographs, memorabilia, and other material that document his life and career, as well as his decades-long involvement with the Law School.  Among these is a particularly special photographic portrait of Mondale made by Ansel Adams in 1977.  Mr. Mondale's donations formed the basis of an exhibit and events commemorating his 80th birthday in 2008, and a commemorative exhibit centered on Mondale Hall in 2018.  Some of the photographs from the Mondale collection were also included in a recent CNN tribute.  Further images are digitized as part of the Law Library's 2013 digital exhibit focusing on Mr. Mondale's consequential Senate career.   

Mr. Mondale graciously visited the Riesenfeld Center for several events, and we have particularly fond memories of him here.  Beyond the many achievements, he was a warm, funny, and deeply caring individual, who we will greatly miss.  In the fall, the Law Library will mount an exhibit in celebration of his life and career.

   - Ryan Greenwood, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections  

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