Joe Biden Will Be Class Day Speaker
Joseph R. Biden, the forty-seventh vice president of the United States, will address graduating Harvard College seniors in Tercentenary Theatre on Class Day, May 24.
“I am honored to be invited to be a part of this special day at Harvard. Today’s generation of students is the most engaged, the most tolerant, and the best educated in the history of the United States of America. I am grateful for the opportunity to speak to this year’s graduating class about the great power they hold to shape our nation’s future,” Biden said in a statement.
In the final months of his vice presidency, Biden’s earnest temperament and relationship with President Obama inspired a viral Internet meme. Before that, he had served as U.S. senator from Delaware for six consecutive terms; he also ran unsuccessfully for president in 1988 and 2008. Since leaving office, he and his wife, Jill Biden, have launched the Biden Foundation, which will extend his policy interests and efforts, among other issues, on violence against women on college campuses. (He helped pass the landmark Violence Against Women Act in 1994.) In February, he was named a professor of practice at the University of Pennsylvania, where he will lead the new Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.
Biden was selected by a committee of class marshals, who plan events for the senior class and choose the Class Day speaker. Since 1968, when the senior class first began inviting guest speakers to Class Day, nine alumni have been selected. Last year’s Class Day featured actress Rashida Jones ’97.
“The senior class is incredibly fortunate and excited to hear from such a distinguished speaker on Class Day. We have watched him serve our nation with diplomacy, humility, and humor throughout our time in high school and at Harvard.” said Victoria Jones ’17, co-chair of the speaker selection committee.
Class Day events will begin at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24, in Tercentenary Theatre.