On Thursday, March 29, Penn’s President Amy Gutmann will host former Vice President Joe Biden—the University’s very own Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor—for an open conversation, touching on global affairs and other topical subjects, and concluding with an audience Q&A.
Biden, in a similar, laid-back conversation with Gutmann last March, was greeted with cheers as he took the stage. It was an exciting moment for many to see—and pick the brain of—one of the newest members of Penn’s community, and “one of our nation’s foremost statesmen,” as Gutmann said.
“It’s so interesting to hear what [Biden] has to say, especially now that he’s one step away from public life,” said Matt Passman, a Wharton student, “and with it being such an interesting time politically in the U.S.”
Since Biden joined the Penn team last year, he has returned to campus in numerous capacities, including for a “Penn Biden Leaders Dialogue” with Felipe Calderón, the former president of Mexico; a public conversation about his recent book, “Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose” with Annenberg School of Communication Dean Michael Delli Carpini; and to deliver a lecture to William Lauder’s Wharton leadership course.
For the University’s annual Silfen Forum, Biden talked about immigration with a distinguished panel including Jeb Bush, Sr., 43rd Governor of Florida; Michael Doyle, University Professor and director of Columbia Global Policy Initiative at Columbia University; 2004 College alum Dau Jok, founder of the Dut Jok Youth Foundation; and Anne Richard, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration.
“It was very refreshing to hear a more academic, fact-based, evidence-based conversation, and from these leaders who have so much experience,” Brian Zhong, a student in the Biological Basis of Behavior Program, said after the event. “It’s neat to see how these different perspectives can come together.”
Biden also leads Penn’s new home in Washington, D.C.—the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement. Just steps from the nation’s capital, the Biden Center officially opened in February with a ribbon cutting and hourlong, free-range discussion between Biden and NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell, a Penn alumna and Trustee emerita, and also this year’s featured Commencement speaker.
The upcoming event at Penn will take place at Irvine Auditorium from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are required for admission, and so is a PennCard. Doors will open at 2 p.m.