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Joe Biden sends message of service and gratitude to DSU grads


Happiness and success don’t come neatly packaged, according to Vice President Joe Biden.

That’s what he told more than 700 students and the 8,200 people who packed Alumni Stadium for Delaware State University’s commencement address Saturday.

Biden assured the soon-to-be graduates that they will have professional success, but without a commitment to your family and community, you won’t be able to enjoy it.

He threw out examples of missing a child’s last sports game at school for a business meeting or putting off a family vacation to get ahead at the office.

“That’s called rationalization and you’ll come to understand, if you rationalize, you’ll lose so, so much. You may succeed, but it’ll be very hard for you to be happy,” Biden said.

To achieve both happiness and success, Biden says you must be personal and purposeful of your time with others and never judge those who haven’t achieved as much as yourself.

“Remember the neighborhood you came from. Remember those who didn’t have your chance. Their instincts, their dignity – they are capable of extraordinary things and don’t confuse an education with understanding,” he said.

Biden calls this generation is one of a few who can mold the shape of society and human history with their work and service to others.

"You're the most tolerant, talented, technologically advanced generation in American history and you're the best equipped to tackle the challenges at your inflection point."

The 73-year-old vice president last spoke at Delaware State University when he was a U.S. senator in 2003.

In his address, Biden spoke about his deep connection and love for the school, which he says helped catapult him into the Senate as one of it’s youngest members at age 29 – with dozens of students and professors at DSU volunteering for his campaign.

“The only reason – and I won only by 3,000 votes – the only reason I got elected then was because of this campus and the community it represents,” Biden said.

Biden earned his undergraduate degree from University of Delaware and his JD from Syracuse Law School, where he will deliver their commencement address May 13.

He unsuccessfully ran for president in 1988 and 2008 before becoming vice president under Barack Obama.

The death of his son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden in 2015, stalled a projected third bid for the nation’s highest office, saying he ran out of time.

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