<p style=”text-align: center;”>PRESIDENT’S AWARD</p>
<p style=”text-align: center;”>June 2020</p>
<p style=”text-align: center;”>(Tom Nelson’s Remarks)</p>
<p>Each year, the outgoing President of the MSBA enjoys the privilege of designating someone as the recipient of the annual President’s Award.&nbsp; As I mentioned to Vice President Mondale the other day, I have scanned the globe and, as it turns out, the MSBA President’s Award is pretty much the only honor he has not yet received.&nbsp; No longer.&nbsp; He is this year’s honoree.</p>
<p>Walter Mondale’s roots reach back to the village of Mundal, Norway&mdash;Mundal, hence Mondale.&nbsp; Mundal is down the fjord from Balestrand toward the glacier.&nbsp; Two beautiful villages.&nbsp; Balestrand, for me, is one of the most peaceful places in the world.&nbsp; It is also where, in a little church, the Norwegian resistance maintained one of its headquarters during the World War II Nazi occupation.&nbsp; It is, in other words, a place of peace as well as courage.&nbsp; No better way to described Walter Mondale.</p>
<p>Along the way, of course, he has served as Vice President of the United States&mdash;a term of office simply and eloquently described on the wall of the Carter Presidential Library&mdash;”We told the truth; We obeyed the law; We kept the peace.”&nbsp; Classic Mondale.&nbsp; Also along the way, he served as Ambassador, U.S. Senator, Minnesota Attorney General (starting his stint as AG 60 years ago last month)&mdash;and as Corporal in the U.S. Army.&nbsp; With the help of the GI Bill, he graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1956&mdash;serving on the Law Review, and studying with classmates such as Allen Saeks, Judges Henry McLaughlin and Bob Schefelbein, Clint Schroeder, and so many distinguished others.&nbsp; After law school, he clerked on the Minnesota Supreme Court with Justice Thomas Gallagher.&nbsp; Even in the midst of all of his accomplishments, he mentioned to me recently how proud he has always been to be a lawyer&mdash;a simple but inspiring comment for us all to hear.</p>
<p>He has, every day, served his clients, our profession, state, nation, and world with dignity, gracefully but persistently demanding that people be treated justly and with decency&mdash;from his early and key support as Attorney General for Mr. Gideon in <em>Gideon v. Wainwright</em>&nbsp; (remembered in Anthony Lewis’ classic book, <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Gideon’s Trumpet</span>)&mdash;to his leadership toward the Fair Housing Act and the Voting Rights Act&mdash;to his inspiration regarding the Vietnam war, and his dedication to and civil and human rights&mdash;to his “Test of Civilization” speech (a memorable and remarkable moment)&mdash;timeless&mdash;well worth your time.</p>
<p>Even during these recent and tragic days, he has shown up&mdash;reminding us that “the battle for civil rights is a journey, not an end point”&mdash;that “each generation is tasked with the hard work of serving in the great fight for justice”&mdash;and describing those who have been demonstrating for justice in our streets as our “neighbors.”&nbsp;</p>
<p>How classically Mondale.&nbsp; Grateful. Hopeful.&nbsp; Humble with a ready sense of common (or, not-so-common) decency.&nbsp; And, neighbor to us all.&nbsp; Thank you, Vice President Mondale.&nbsp; I’m honored to honor you with this moment.&nbsp; Really, though, it is you who has honored us.</p>