AUGUSTA, Maine — Former Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. will speak at Colby College’s commencement ceremonies, the college announced Monday on its website.

Biden, the 47th vice president of the United States, is also a longtime member of the U.S. Senate. His commencement address is scheduled for Sunday, May 21. The event is open to the public, weather permitting.

“Vice President Biden’s lifelong public service has been marked by his commitment to equality of opportunity, global cooperation, human health and violence prevention, and all in a spirit of acceptance and bipartisanship,” said Colby College President David A. Greene in a written statement. “These are themes and values that we address in the Colby community and explore through our education and research.”

Biden will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Colby as part of the ceremony.

Biden was first elected to the U.S. Senate from Delaware in 1972 at age 29 and we reelected six times for a total of 36 years in his seat. Biden has made fighting crime and foreign policy a core of his work through his involvement on the Senate judiciary and foreign relations committees. As vice president from 2009 to 2017, Biden traveled more than 1.2 million miles and spearheaded many of the Obama administration’s domestic initiatives. Obama presented Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest award bestowed on civilians in the U.S., in January 2017.

The May 21 commencement ceremony begins at 10 a.m. on the lawn of Miller Library, weather permitting. Members of the public who are not family members of graduates should bring their own chairs. If it rains, the ceremony will be held inside and tickets will be required. Watch for weather-related announcements.

A total of 483 members of the Colby class of 2017 will graduate from Colby this year during a ceremony on Sunday, May 21. Class members include citizens of 41 countries and 35 U.S. states. Collectively, they will graduate with 58 majors, including several majors designed by individual students. They will join more than 26,000 Colby alumni.

Here’s a video of Biden speaking at Notre Dame’s graduation commencement last year:

Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.