University of Vermont

Installation of 26th President - E. Thomas Sullivan

Installation Speaker: Walter F. Mondale

Walter Mondale42nd Vice President of the United States of America

Walter F. Mondale has a record of public service that includes Vice President of the United States, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, U.S. Senator, and Attorney General for the State of Minnesota.  He was also the Democratic Party’s nominee for President in 1984.  He is currently Senior Counsel with the law firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP, headquartered in Minneapolis with 20 offices worldwide.

Walter Frederick (“Fritz”) Mondale was born in Ceylon, Minnesota on January 5, 1928, the son of Theodore Sigvaard Mondale and Claribel Cowan Mondale.  He spent his boyhood in the small towns of southern Minnesota, where he attended public schools.  Mondale received his B.A. in political science from the University of Minnesota in 1951 and his LL.B. (cum laude) from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1956. 

In 1960, Minnesota Governor Orville Freeman appointed Mondale to the position of State Attorney General.  He was then elected to the office in 1962, and served until 1964, when Governor Karl Rolvaag asked him to fill the U.S. Senate vacancy created by Hubert Humphrey’s election to the Vice Presidency.  The voters of Minnesota returned Mondale to the Senate in 1966 and 1972.

During his 12 years as a United States Senator, Mondale served on the Finance Committee, the Labor and Public Welfare Committee, Budget Committee, and the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.  He also served as the chairman of the Select Committee on Equal Education Opportunity and as the chairman of the Intelligence Committee’s Domestic Task Force.

On November 2, 1976, Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale were elected President and Vice President of the United States.  On the President’s behalf, Mondale traveled extensively throughout the country and the world advocating U.S. policy, and he played a central role in Carter Administration policy of expanding commercial ties between the United States and China. 

During the Clinton administration, Mondale was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Japan and helped to negotiate several U.S.-Japan security agreements and trade agreements, and promoted the expansion of educational exchanges between the two nations. In November 2008, the government of Japan conferred upon Mondale the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers, one of Japan’s highest honors.

Mondale serves as chair of The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, an organization that promotes understanding and cooperation among the nations and peoples of Asia and the United States,  and co-teaches a class on the study of governance and politics at the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of The Accountability of Power:  Toward a Responsible Presidency and The Good Fight:  A Life in Liberal Politics, and has written numerous articles on domestic and international issues.

Mondale is married to the former Joan Adams.  They have three children, Theodore, Eleanor Jane (deceased) and William, and four grandchildren. In his free time, he enjoys fishing, reading historical accounts, and spending time with his family.

Last modified October 03 2012 09:21 AM

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