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Biden to give speech at Howard University’s commencement



President Joe Biden will deliver the keynote address at Howard University’s 155th commencement ceremony on May 13.

The White House confirmed Saturday that Biden would also deliver a keynote speech at the United States Air Force Academy’s commencement in June.

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 23: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks at an event marking the 13th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act in the East Room of the White House on March 23, 023 in Washington, DC. During President Biden’s remarks he spoke on the history of the legislation, also termed “Obamacare,” and how his administration plans to continue promoting affordable healthcare for people in the United States. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Howard University president Wayne A. I. Frederick said in a statement that it’s an “honor and privilege” to welcome President Biden to celebrate the graduating class of 2023. Biden will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters from the university, which Frederick said 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,” read the statement.

As theGrio previously reported, Biden has pushed for funding for the country’s 100-plus HBCUs during his presidency. In 2021, the president gave a speech at the commencement ceremony at another HBCU, South Carolina State University, and lauded historically Black institutions.

“The reason I got elected in 1972 was because of an HBCU called Delaware State University. They organized for me,” Biden said during the speech to applause. “So, folks, you’re inheriting an incredible tradition [of] graduating from this university.”

In addition to being the alma mater of Vice President Kamala Harris, the nation’s first Black and first woman president — and Biden’s running mate for 2024 — Howard produced countless Black history makers.

The university is also the alma mater of the first Black Supreme Court justice, Thurgood Marshall, and the first black Nobel Peace Prize winner, Ralph Bunche, served as a professor and the founding leader of Howard’s political science department.

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 07: Howard University President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick (L) helps to adjust the hood after U.S. President Barack Obama (C) was presented with a Doctor of Science honorary degree by member of Howard University Board of Trustees Vernon (R) Jordan during the 2016 commencement ceremony at Howard University May 7, 2016 in Washington, DC. President Obama is the sixth sitting U.S. president to deliver the commencement speech at Howard University. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

In 2016, then-President Barack Obama delivered the keynote address at Howard University’s commencement ceremony.

“The generations of men and women who walked through this yard helped reform our government, cure disease, grow a Black middle class, advance civil rights, shape our culture,” said Obama. “The seeds of change – for all Americans – were sown here.”

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