Jill and Joe Biden kick off Bryan Series


David Lienemann

Official portrait of United States Vice President Joe Biden in his West Wing Office at the White House.// Photo courtesy the White House/

Former Vice President Joe Biden and educator Dr. Jill Biden will be the first speakers of Guilford College’s annual Bryan Series. The Bidens will be speaking on Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum.

The Bidens served for eight years in the Obama Administration as the 47th Vice President and second lady, but before that Joe Biden was the former senator for the state of Delaware. Jill Biden is an American educator.

In addition, the Bidens have dedicated themselves to public service through a nonprofit organization called the Biden Foundation. The foundation strives to advance community colleges, create equality for the LGBTQIA community and end violence against women.

“All men and women on earth are equal in human dignity,” states the Biden Foundation website, summarizing the viewpoint of the organization.

The connection between the equality valued by the Biden Foundation and Guilford College’s core values is one of the reasons that the Bidens were asked to speak.

“We thought it would be a really good combination to have both Joe and Jill come since they are both being very active with service in their foundation,” said Suzanne Ingram, the director of the Bryan Series.

This year, the Guilford community was asked its top choices for Bryan Series speakers.

“We survey our subscribers, students and faculty, asking who they would like to see in the series,” Ingram said. “One of the categories we had were political figures who were coming out of office. We had several names on that list, including Joe Biden.”

Getting a confirmation that the Bidens were coming to speak wasn’t quick. After many negotiations, Bryan Series organizers were able to secure the two speakers.

“We usually make an announcement for our series in February for the following (season),” said Ingram. “(This time) we weren’t able to get everything finalized until May, and that’s when we ended up making the final announcement.”

This hard work seems to have paid off, as many Guilford students are looking forward to hearing the Bidens speak at the Bryan Series lecture. One of these students is junior and biology major Mia Kulshreshtha, who will be attending the event.

“I am excited to listen to Joe and Jill talk about the work they do with public service,” said Kulshreshtha. “I am excited to hear how they have helped out in our society and … looking forward to learning about how we as the Guilford community can implement the work they do, and connect it to the work we do on campus.”

Kulshreshtha isn’t the only student who feels this way. Junior Elyssa Shoup will also be at the talk and wants to learn more about their work.

“I am excited to hear what the Bidens will be speaking about,” said Shoup. “I remember following the Obama campaign and presidency and all the hard and amazing work the Obamas and Bidens did in and out of the White House, so I am looking forward to hearing about the great work the Bidens (are doing now).”

Students and faculty will be able to get tickets to the event starting on Friday, Sept. 8. More information about reserving tickets for the event will be posted in the Guilford Buzz in the near future.