by Terrance Smith, Staff Writer
Former Vice President Joe Biden will give the lead address at Morgan State University’s 141st commencement ceremony, May 20 in Hughes Memorial Stadium.
In an email to the Morgan community, University President David Wilson said, “I’m pleased to announce that former Vice President of the United States, Joseph Biden, will deliver the 2017 Spring Commencement Address at our beloved Morgan on the occasion of our 150th Anniversary. We welcome him to Morgan and congratulate all of the graduates and our honorary degree recipients.”
According to University Spokesman Clint Coleman, “We’re proud to be able to announce that former Vice President Joe Biden is our commencement speaker for our sesquicentennial year.”
The process for selecting a commencement speaker has to go through university officials, more specifically, the Board of Regents.
“The name has to be vetted through the Board of Regents. They approved unanimously [on Biden] and he accepted the invitation,” said Coleman.
When asked about the ticketing and arrangement of the graduation layout, Coleman told The MSU Spokesman, “As of right now the logistics are still being worked out and I’m sure the secret service will be involved. I believe graduates are going to be happy.”
Biden will be receiving an honorary degree in public service at the commencement.
Also receiving honorary degrees: Sylvia Brown, a Baltimore philanthropist; Sheldon Goldseker, chairman of the board of directors with the Goldseker Foundation, whose foundation has become the largest private supporter at Morgan State with over $5.7 Million going to 2,200 students in scholarships; and White House Correspondent and Morgan alumna April Ryan.
Biden and former President Barack Obama said they would not visit institutions that do not pursue sexual assault allegations and punish perpetrators. Morgan was under investigation from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights for its handling of a 2014 sexual assault.
“I’m sure if they had seen a problem with Morgan State they would not be coming,” said Coleman.
The press release for the commencement is currently with Biden’s office and is scheduled to be released Monday, April 17.