BALTIMORE Morgan State University President David Wilson announced that Joseph R. Biden Jr., U.S. vice president for two terms in the Obama administration, will deliver the keynote address during the University’s 141st Spring Commencement exercises, on Saturday, May 20, 2017, 9:30 a.m., at Hughes Stadium, on Morgan’s campus. Biden is one of four distinguished citizens who will receive honorary doctorates during the commencement: veteran journalist and Morgan graduate April Ryan will be awarded a Doctor of Laws, and philanthropists C. Sylvia Brown and Sheldon Goldseker, and Biden, will receive Doctor of Public Service degrees.
“Morgan State University was founded to strengthen dispossessed communities and broaden the distribution of educational opportunities to talented students who otherwise would be denied,” said Morgan President David Wilson. “We are proud to continue that vital tradition into our sesquicentennial year.
“The honored guests who will attend our commencement this year— those on the dais as well as those in the stands— have the same commitment to social advancement and equity that the founders of Morgan had in 1867,” Wilson continued. “And now, as then, Morgan is sending its graduates into the world prepared to provide good leadership and meet the great challenges of the future.”
Vice President Joe Biden was born in Scranton, Pa., and moved to Delaware with his family when he was 11. At age 29, he was elected to represent Delaware in the U.S. Senate, where he served for 36 years, 17 of them as chairman or ranking member of the Judiciary Committee and 12 as chairman or ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee. As the 47th vice president of the U.S., from 2009 to 2017, he continued his leadership on important issues such as raising the living standards of middle-class Americans, reducing gun violence, addressing violence against women and fighting the scourge of cancer, as well as representing the U.S. during his travels to more than 50 countries.
More than 1,200 candidates will receive bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees during the commencement, which is a highlight of Morgan’s yearlong Sesquicentennial Celebration.