168th Commencement: Watch Live
The U.S. Senate confirmed Albany Law School graduate and former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack '75 as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture on Jan. 20.
The two-term governor, who spent a day with students on Albany Law's campus last year (at right), announced his bid for candidacy November 2006 but dropped out months later after struggling to raise the money needed to run an aggressive national campaign.
The Albany Law rugby player received the School's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007 and is remembered by his study-group classmates as a steady, calm student who handled the stress of school easily. He was also known as an avid Pittsburgh Pirates fan, according to Paul Wein '75.
The Pittsburgh native who attended Hamilton College, also in upstate New York, was Albany Law's second graduate to run for president. U.S. Pres. William McKinley was the School's first.
Since running for president, Vilsack (on the campaign trail at left) co-chaired Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, headed a national task force to examine the science, economics and politics of global warming, and worked for the law firm Dorsey & Whitney.