Former Vice President Joe Biden came to campus on Feb. 28 to deliver a lecture to students enrolled in William Lauder's leadership course.
Biden, who entered at the Walnut Street entrance of Huntsman Hall at around 2:55 p.m. today, came to talk to Wharton graduate students in the highly-selective course run by The Lauder Institute's William Lauder, who also serves as the executive chairman of Estée Lauder Companies.
Biden's visit was not publicized, and he arrived at the back entrance of Huntsman Hall to little fanfare. In the two hours before his arrival, both University spokesperson Stephen MacCarthy and Wharton spokesperson Peter Wincov wrote in separate emails to The Daily Pennsylvanian that they were not aware Biden was to coming campus. Wincov referred the DP to Director of Media Relations Ron Ozio, who did not respond to immediate request for comment.
The Lauder Institute website also did not list Biden's lecture as an upcoming event.
After wrapping up his term as Vice President under former President Barack Obama, Biden has taken on joint appointments in the Annenberg School for Communication and the School of Arts and Sciences, with a secondary affiliation in the Wharton School.
Since his formal appointment as the “Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor" a year ago, Biden has increased his engagement with the University. Last year, the former VP came to speak on campus three times, attracting a full house of students, staff, and faculty at each event. Earlier this year, Biden also officiated the opening of the Penn Biden Center alongside President Amy Gutmann and NBC News anchor Andrea Mitchell.
He was also one of the panelists at this year's Silfen Forum where he discussed the importance of immigration to American identity. At the packed event, Biden argued that there is “no compelling evidence” that immigration has led to economic dislocation in the United States.
University administrators said last year that Biden would not be teaching a course, but that "there will be opportunities for our students to benefit from his presence at Penn.”
Even before Biden formally became a Penn professor, he was a beloved figure on campus.
In 2013, Biden was selected as Penn's commencement speaker. Various members of his family have attended Penn, including his daughter, 2010 Social Policy and Practice graduate Ashley Biden and late son, 1991 College graduate Beau Biden. The former vice president’s granddaughter, Naomi, graduated from the College in 2016.