Tim Russert's Commencement Speech Remembered

6/16/2008 | Facebook|Twitter|Email

Date: 06/16/2008

Tim Russert, the host of "Meet the Press" who died Friday, June 13, at NBC's Washington, D.C., bureau at the age of 58, delivered Albany Law School's commencement speech for the Class of 1993.  A friend of Albany Law faculty and alumni, Russert had visited the school other times prior to Commencement, asking, "What other law school is built around a basketball court?"

Russert urged the graduates to pursue justice that affects the country's "gnawing social problems. . . . You cannot, you must not, ignore these problems," said NBC's Washington, D.C., bureau chief. "The very foundation of our system of jurisprudence, the fabric of our society, is at stake . . . . Give people a hand, give them hope, give them strength."  

He pointed to Poland's Lech Walesa and South African's Nelson Mandela as model leaders devoted to making a difference for humanity.

Russert, a lawyer, received an honorary degree that day conferred by the Union University chancellor Roger Hull.