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Sen. Joseph Biden to speak at SU’s College of Law Commencement
Sen. Joseph Biden to speak at SU’s College of Law CommencementApril 15, 2002Cynthia J. Moritzcjmoritz@syr.edu
Five-term Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware L’68 will speak at the Syracuse University College of Law 2002 Commencement. This will be Biden’s second commencement address for the College of Law; his first was in 1994. He also spoke at the College of Law’s Centennial Celebration in 1995.
The College of Law’s commencement will be held at 1 p.m. May 19 at the Onondaga County Convention Center at Oncenter, Syracuse. During the ceremony, 238 students are expected to receive juris doctor degrees.
“I am so very pleased that Senator Biden has agreed to give the commencement address this year,” says Daan Braveman, dean of the College of Law. “The senator has been a strong supporter of the College of Law over the years. On a personal level, I would add that I cannot imagine anyone I would rather have as the speaker at the final commencement over which I will preside as the dean of the college.” Braveman is resigning as dean this summer, and will be replaced by Hannah Arterian, former associate dean of the Arizona State University College of Law.
A strong leader on anti-crime and drug policy, Biden has been involved in crafting virtually every major piece of crime legislation over the last decade, 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 is the author of the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 2000, which contains a broad array of measures to combat domestic violence and provides billions of dollars in federal funds to address gender-based crimes. Biden, who serves as chair of the International Narcotics Control Caucus, also wrote the law creating the position of the nation’s “drug czar,” who oversees and coordinates national drug control policy.
As chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Biden is the Democratic party’s chief spokesperson on national security and foreign policy issues. Sen. 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.”
In addition to his leadership on foreign policy, crime and drug control issues, Biden is widely recognized for his work in environmental protection and education policy. His work over the past 20 years has led to the end of federal control and the return to the citizens of Delaware more than 1,180 acres of beach shoreline along the Delaware coast. In 2000, Biden’s decades-long efforts culminated in establishment of Delaware’s first and only National Wild and Scenic River-the White Clay Creek Watershed-which will be preserved and saved from development for future generations.
To help Americans struggling to afford the rising costs of college tuition, Biden has been a staunch supporter of college aid and loan programs and has offered legislation to allow families to deduct up to $10,000 per year in higher education expenses on their annual income tax returns. And to prepare today’s students to meet the technology challenges of tomorrow, Biden has undertaken initiatives in the Senate to ensure that all students have access to the on-ramp of the information super highway. Biden’s “Kids 2000” legislation, signed into law by President Bill Clinton in October of 2000, establishes a public/private partnership to help provide computer centers, teachers, Internet access and technical training to young people across the nation, particularly to low-income and at-risk youth.
Biden grew up in New Castle County, Delaware. He graduated from the University of Delaware in 1965. Prior to his election to the Senate, Biden practiced law in Wilmington and served on the New Castle County Council from 1970 to 1972. Since 1991, Biden has been an adjunct professor at the Widener University School of Law, where he teaches a seminar on constitutional law.