FILE PHOTO: President Joe Biden speaks in the White House on Friday, June 24, 2022. Credit: Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

By Sholnn Z. Freeman, The Dig, Howard University
This article was originally published on May 6, 2023 by Howard University.

WASHINGTON – Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA, president of Howard University, announced that Joseph R. Biden Jr., the 46th president of the United States, will serve as the commencement orator during the 155th commencement ceremony on Howard University’s Upper Quadrangle of the main campus at 10 a.m. on May 13, 2023.

“It is an honor and privilege to welcome President Biden to deliver the 2023 commencement address and celebrate the graduating Class of 2023,” Dr. Frederick said. “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. 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.”

President Biden will receive the honorary Doctor of Letters. Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the first of four children of Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden and Joseph Robinette Biden, Sr. In 1953, the Biden family moved to Claymont, Delaware. Biden graduated from the University of Delaware and Syracuse Law School and served on the New Castle County Council.  At age 29, President Biden became one of the youngest people ever elected to the United States Senate. On April 25, 2019, Biden announced his candidacy for President of the United States. Later, he invited Howard University alumna Kamala Harris to become his running mate and help unite the nation as vice president. Harris became the first Black American elected in that role.

President Biden is the seventh sitting U.S. president to deliver the keynote address at a Howard University commencement convocation.

For more information about Howard University’s 155th Commencement ceremony, visit

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