Howard University commencement
By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick has confirmed that President Joe Biden will deliver the commencement address at the historically Black university’s 155th ceremony. Officials have scheduled commencement activities for 10 a.m. on May 13 on the Upper Quadrangle of the main campus. Erica Loewe, the White House’s Director of African American Media, stated that in addition to Biden’s address at Howard University, administration officials plan to attend commencements at HBCUs nationwide. According to the White House, President Biden’s impending visit to Howard, the alma mater of Vice President Kamala Harris, follows the administration’s record-breaking investment of nearly $6 billion through the U.S. Department of Education to support HBCUs since 2021. “Securing funding for the more than 100 HBCUs in the United States has been a prominent feature of Biden’s domestic agenda,” Loewe wrote on Twitter. In addition, the visit coincides with the publication of new data showing the lowest Black unemployment rate in U.S. history. “It is an honor and privilege to welcome President Biden to deliver the 2023 commencement address and celebrate the 2023 graduating class,” Dr. Frederick said. Biden will also receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree during the commencement. “This honorary Doctor of Letters is much deserved for his years of transformational service as U.S. Senator, Vice President, and now as President of the United States,” Dr. Frederick stated. “We are excited to receive the president as this year’s distinguished guest and recognize him for his relentless work uplifting our communities that have been historically left behind. “I look forward to honoring President Biden, our honorary degree recipients, and graduating seniors at the Commencement Convocation.” Biden was the first of four children born to Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden and Joseph Robinette Biden, Sr., in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The Biden family relocated to Claymont, Delaware, in 1953. Biden attended the University of Delaware and Syracuse University School of Law and served on the New Castle County Council. The Wilmington, Delaware, Amtrak station bears Biden’s name. The president was among the youngest individuals ever elected to the United States Senate at age 29. At 80, Biden has confirmed his candidacy for re-election, and a victory would make him the oldest elected president in American history. Harris became the first African American and female vice president. Biden would be the seventh incumbent U.S. president to deliver Howard’s commencement speech.