Biden to make personal ‘homecoming’ at University of Delaware graduation

Then Vice President Joe Biden speaks to graduates during the University of Delaware's commencement ceremony

Then Vice President Joe Biden speaks to graduates during the University of Delaware's commencement ceremony in Newark, Del., Saturday, May 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Emily Varisco)

President Joe Biden will turn this year’s University of Delaware graduation ceremony into a personal homecoming.

UD President Dennis Assanis announced Tuesday that Biden will deliver the commencement address at the May 28 ceremony at the university’s football stadium.

“The entire University of Delaware community is truly honored to welcome President Biden as our distinguished guest — and the first sitting U.S. president to deliver a commencement address at UD,” Assanis said in a statement.

Biden has plenty of experience speaking to UD grads. He delivered commencement addresses as a U.S. senator in 1978, 1987, and 2004, when he received an honorary doctor of laws degree. While serving as vice president, he spoke to students graduating in 2014.

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Biden graduated from UD with a bachelor’s degree in 1965 after double majoring in history and political science. First lady Jill Biden earned a bachelor’s degree in English from UD in 1975 and a doctorate in education in 2006.

The president has kept deep connections to the university beyond its status as his alma mater.

UD is home to both the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration and the Biden Institute, a research center that develops public policy solutions for some of the nation’s toughest domestic problems.

“His commitment to a lifetime of public service is an inspiring example for our graduates, as well as all our students and alumni, of what they can accomplish with a UD education, whatever path they may choose in life,” Assanis said.

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Biden also donated his papers from his more than 30 years in the U.S. Senate to the school, a donation that hasn’t been without controversy.

The conservative foundation Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller News Foundation sued the University of Delaware over the school’s denial of requests to access documents from Biden’s time in the U.S. Senate. The university says the papers are still being curated and will not yet be made available to the public.

The May 28 commencement address, which will be held at Delaware Stadium on the university’s Newark campus, is only open to graduating students and ticketed guests. Some 4,000 graduates are expected to attend, with approximately 16,000 family and friends.

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