Former Vice President and Penn Presidential Professor of Practice Joe Biden has won the 2020 presidential election, defeating Republican incumbent and 1968 Wharton graduate Donald Trump in a closely watched battle that brought all eyes to the swing state of Pennsylvania.
The Associated Press called the race on Saturday morning after Biden was projected to win Pennsylvania, propelling him above the 270 electoral votes necessary to claim the White House.
Biden will serve along Kamala Harris, who will not only be the first female vice president, but also the first Black woman and first Asian American to serve in the office.
Mail-in and absentee votes from Philadelphia gave Biden the lead in Pennsylvania for the first time on 9 a.m. Friday morning — a fitting end to a campaign that has focused heavily on Philadelphia, a vital city in the crucial tipping-ground battleground state.
The presidential general election notably featured two candidates with close ties to Penn.
In February 2017, Biden was appointed to the honorary professor position of Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor. Biden's role at Penn is largely ceremonial and he does not teach classes and appears on campus infrequently. Biden also opened the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, D.C. in early 2018.
When Biden announced he was running for president in April 2018, he took an unpaid leave of absence from his role at the Penn Biden Center. The Center continues to operate under different leadership.
Several members of the Biden and Trump family have also graduated from Penn’s various schools.
Biden, a 77-year-old Scranton, Pa. native, will be the third president with close ties to Penn, following Trump and William Henry Harrison. Harrison, who attended Penn in the 1790s but never graduated from the University, died after a month in office.
Trump, a New York real estate developer and former reality television star, was the first president to take office without any prior experience in politics or in the military.
Trump frequently touted his Wharton degree during his campaigns and while in office. Penn, however, has largely stayed silent during Trump's first term and has not embraced nor commemorated the 1968 Wharton graduate.