Former VP Joe Biden to Deliver Global Leaders Lecture


Vice President Joe Biden has been scheduled to speak at Colgate in March as part of the Kerschner Family Global Leaders Series lectures.

Colgate President Brian Casey announced on Monday that Colgate will host former Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. on March, 25 as part of the Kerschner Family Global Leaders Series at Colgate. The lecture will be held in the Sanford Field House. The Kerschner Family Global Leaders Series at Colgate aims to “expand our students’ access to 21st century newsmakers.” Former Vice President Biden will be the 12th speaker brought to Colgate through this series, which began in 2007. Former speakers included Shimon Peres, Hillary Clinton, His Holiness – The 14th Dalai Lama of  Tibet and many other esteemed guests.

Biden’s political career began shortly after earning his JD from Syracuse University Law School in 1968. He received his first political appointment in 1970, serving as councilman on the New Castle County Council in Wilmington, Delaware. Following his success in this role, he was approached by the Delaware Democratic Party to run for the United States Senate. In November 1972 at age 29 he became the fifth youngest senator in U.S. history, a position he would hold for the next 36 years. 

His next formal appointment was Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1987, which he held for the following eight years. He also chaired the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations from 2007 to 2009. One of his most notable acts as U.S. senator came in January 1990 when he authored and introduced the bill that would become the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994. Biden is known for his enduring commitment to addressing domestic violence and regarded the VAWA as “the proudest thing [he] has ever done.”

In 2008 and 2012, Biden was elected to serve two consecutive terms as the 47th Vice President of the United States under former President Barack Obama. Upon accepting this nomination, Biden became the first Roman Catholic and Delawarean to assume this office. As Vice President, he continued to advocate for women’s safety in both professional and personal contexts. His activism has been increasingly integrated into college campuses across the nation. In 2014, Biden spearheaded the formation of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault and the It’s On Us campaign in collaboration with former President Barack Obama. The campaign aims “to wake-up our colleges and universities – and the country – to the epidemic of sexual violence on their campuses,” Biden remarked in his Op-Ed released by The White House in November 2015. Colgate Athletics recently debuted a promotional video in which members of the Colgate Athletic community pledged their support to the It’s On Us movement and to keeping students safe on college campuses. 

Biden has said his post-political life will be strongly focused on accelerating cancer research, a passion fueled by the recent passing of his son Beau Biden, who lost his battle to brain cancer in 2015. One of his final acts in office was facilitating the implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act, authorizing $6.3 billion to new research at the National Institutes of Health, $1.8 billion of which will be allocated to cancer research. This bill was a rare demonstration of bipartisan cooperation within Congress, with Senate voting 94-5 in favor. He has mentioned accessibility and affordability of cancer treatment as key areas in which he plans to build national conversation.  

In January 2017, former President Barack Obama awarded Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. 

More information containing details of the event and tickets will be posted on Colgate’s website within the next couple weeks.