In memory of former vice president and honorary doctor Mondale

Former US Vice President and UiB honorary doctorate Walter Mondale sadly died this week. Mondale is remembered for his warm and goodhearted nature.

UiB delegasjon
Former Vice President and UiB honorary doctorate Walter Mondale sadly died this week. Here he is together with a delegation from UIB during his award ceremony at the University of Minneapolis Law School in 2016. From the left: Former Rector Dag Rune Olsen, former Vice President and honory doctorate Walter Mondal, former Dean of Law Asbjørn Strandbakken, Vice Dean Berte-Elen Reinertsen Konow and Rector Margareth Hagen.

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Walter Mondale was awarded the honorary doctorate by the University of Bergen (UiB) in 2015. He was presented the award during a solemn ceremony at the University of Minneapolis Law School in 2016.  A delegation from UiB was present at the ceremony to honor Walter Mondale – amongst them, current rector Margareth Hagen.

Strong presence

"I was very fortunate to meet Mondale when we presented him the honorary doctorate. I remember him very well. He had a strong and interesting presence, and appeared very goodhearted", says rector Hagen.

Mondale also left a good impression on Professor Anne-Lise Fimreite. She had the pleasure to meet Mondale at the same ceremony.

"He was an impressive figure! When we spoke, I felt that he saw me and was interested in what I had to say, even though he met many others at the event", Fimreite says.

Many great acievements

During the ceremony in Minneapolis, the former Dean at the Law, Asbjørn Strandbakken, gave a speech to honor Mondale. In the speech Strandbakken talked about the former Vice President's many great achievements, with a special attention towards his contribution during the 60's civil rights movement in the United States, his efforts during the Watergate investigation and his continuing work to promote equal rights for all citizens of American society, both before, during and after his term as Vice President under President Jimmy Carter.

Strandbakken met Mondale several times. He would like to use this opportunity to recommend Mondale’s biography The Good Fight.

"His biography is very exciting; it shows his perspectives on law. Including the use of law and the role legislation plays in reforming society. He had great visions for what could be achieved by using legislation as a tool for social reforms and equality", Strandbakken says.

A true community builder

According to Strandbakken Mondale had a great deal of wisdom.

- I think he was an exceptionally wise politician who was able to unite where the fronts were divided. Mondale also talks about this in his biography. He believed that solutions were best found in the middle, and that polarization was damaging to the development of the society.

"He was in general a very impressive man. I think I will go as far as to say he was a true community builder".

Karl Harald Søvig, current dean at The Faculty of Law, agrees with Strandbakken’s descriptions of Mondale.

"I think Stranbakken has given a good description of how Mondale was perceived.  He was indeed a very inspiring person".