Geraldine Ferraro, the first female vice presidential candidate for a major U.S. political party and a prominent attorney, passed away on March 26, 2011.
Albany Law School's Class of 1997, as well as many faculty and staff, recall fondly her keynote address at that year's commencement ceremony, held May 5 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
During her speech to Albany Law School's 251 newest graduates, Ferraro emphasized that "being a lawyer isn't just about earning a living. It's also about ... maintaining the integrity of our social institutions."
Ferraro joined the Queens County District Attorney's Office in 1974, where she headed the new Special Victims Bureau. She was elected to Congress in 1978, rising rapidly in her party’s ranks. Former vice president and presidential candidate Walter Mondale selected Ferraro to be his running mate in the 1984 election.
Later in her career, Ferraro served as a U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights from 1993 until 1996 during the Clinton administration. She also continued her career as a journalist, author and businesswoman, as well as served in the 2008 presidential campaign of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.