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Wednesday, December 6, 2000

"Senator Joe Biden Delivers Commencement Address"

SALISBURY, MD--Delaware Senator Joe Biden delivers the commencement address for the fall 2000 graduation exercises for Salisbury State University on Sunday, December 17, at 3 p.m. at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center.

At graduation 445 students will receive bachelor’s degree: 151 Bachelor of Arts, 283 Bachelor of Science and 11 Bachelor of Arts in Social Work; and 81 master’s degrees: 21 Master of Arts, 11 Master of Arts in Teaching, 19 Master of Business Administration, 27 Master of Education and 3 Master of Science.

Biden has represented the people of Delaware in the United States Senate since January 1973. Now the senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee and a member of the Judiciary Committee, he has earned national and international recognition as a policy innovator, effective legislator and party spokesman on issues ranging from crime prevention and constitutional law to international relations and arms control.

Biden grew up in New Castle County, DE. He graduated from the University of Delaware in 1965, and from the Syracuse University College of Law in 1968. Prior to his election to the senate, Biden practiced law in Wilmington, DE, and served on the New Castle County Council from 1970-72. Since 1991, Biden has been an adjunct professor at the Widener University School of Law, where he teaches a seminar on constitutional law.

Biden is a leader on anti-crime and drug policy. During the past 10 years, he has authored virtually every major piece of crime legislation including the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, also known as the Biden Crime Law, which dramatically increased funds spent on law enforcement. Additionally, Biden wrote the law creating the nation’s “drug czar” who oversees and coordinates national drug control policy. Today, Biden continues to work to stop the spread of new drugs such as Ketamine and Rohypnol, the “date rape” drug.

In the 106th Congress, Biden was instrumental in passing several pieces of legislation to fight crime and strengthen existing drug laws. One of the most important bills to come out of the 106th Congress was Biden’s landmark Violence Against Women Act of 2000 (VAWA), which President Clinton signed into law in October 2000. This critical piece of legislation, which expands on Biden’s original Violence Against Women Act of 1994, contains a broad array of ground-breaking measures to combat domestic violence and provides billions of dollars in federal funds to address gender-based crimes.

As the senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, Biden is among the party’s most respected voices and leaders on a wide variety of foreign policy and national security issues. Richard Lugar, a senior Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, said: “Senator Biden has a very strong commitment to a bipartisan foreign policy and serves as a good example for everyone in Congress. He has a very broad, comprehensive view of the world. He’s a good listener, but he’s also a strong and effective advocate of his position.”

Biden has authored legislation to curb the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and is a forceful advocate for arms control measures. He successfully led the effort in the Senate to approve ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention. He led the fight for expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He forged important bipartisan agreements to pay back U.S. arrears to the United Nations, to streamline U.S. foreign policy agencies and to authorize debt relief for the poorest nations of the developing world.

In addition to his leadership on foreign policy, crime and drug control issues, Biden has also been recognized for his work in civil rights, environmental protection and education policy. In May 1999, Biden became the youngest Senator ever to cast 10,000 votes in the Senate.

Biden lives in Wilmington, DE, and commutes to Washington when the Senate is in session. He is married to the former Jill Jacobs and is the father of three children: Beau, Hunter and Ashley. The Biden’s also have three granddaughters: Naomi, Finnegan and Roberta Mabel.

Admission to SSU commencement is by ticket only. For more information about tickets or speakers, please contact the Public Relations Office at 410-543-6030.  


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