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Vice President Joe Biden to address Wake Forest University's 2009 graduates

May 18, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden will become the first sitting vice president to deliver a commencement address at Wake Forest University when he speaks today in a ceremony beginning at 9 a.m.

After Biden speaks, Wake Forest will award him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

“We are delighted that Vice President Joe Biden will be addressing our graduates at commencement. Few public servants bring his wealth of experience to critical issues of foreign and domestic policy,” said Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch. “It is a great opportunity for our graduates to hear Vice President Biden’s perspectives on the challenges that they, and the entire country, face in these difficult times.”

The commencement ceremony, which is reserved for graduating students and invited guests, may be viewed by the general public live or at a later time via streaming video on the university’s Web site at

More than 1,500 graduating students and up to 10 times that many guests are expected to attend the graduation exercises, which cap off a series of Commencement Weekend events.  These include honors and award ceremonies, professional school hooding ceremonies and a baccalaureate service.

Wake Forest’s 2009 graduating class is comprised of about 1,800 students, including some whose degrees were conferred during the academic year in August and December 2008.  They are invited to participate in the commencement ceremony with about 1,500 May graduates, of which about 950 are undergraduates and more than 550 are graduate and professional students from Wake Forest’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, School of Divinity, School of Law, School of Medicine and Schools of Business. 

Founded in 1834, Wake Forest University is a private, collegiate university dedicated to serving humanity through the pursuit of knowledge.  Consistently ranked among the nation’s top universities, Wake Forest offers students the personalized attention of a small liberal arts college with the resources, technology and co-curricular opportunities of a large university.  With strong undergraduate and graduate programs and leading professional schools, Wake Forest maintains the highest academic and scholarly standards and strives to instill in all its students a desire to lead examined and purposeful lives.

Press Contacts:

Eric Frazier
(336) 758-5237

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

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