Vice President speaks at DSU's 125th graduation ceremony

Vice President Joe Biden looked to find common ground with students during their graduation ceremony at Delaware State University today.

“Like many of you I came from a family of modest means. Like many of you I was the first in my family to go to college,” he said. “If we could not get here the impact on our parents and their feelings of inadequacy is as consequential as us not being able to get here.”

He spoke before an estimated 8,200 at Alumni Stadium.

As the commencement speaker for Delaware State University's 125th graduation ceremony, he also spoke about issues like climate change, advances in technology and criminal justice reform.

“You’re the most tolerant, technically advanced generation in history,” he said. “You have more power in the iPhone in your pocket than the computers that sent a man to the moon."

“There is an overwhelming need to deal with the single greatest threat to your generation—climate change.”

Biden used footnotes from his own life to convey messages of trust and being cautious about jumping to conclusions, especially when you don’t have all the facts.

In other aspects of life, however, he challenged students to live a little dangerously.

“You have to run the risk of failure,” he said.

In order to get his point across about being persistent, he used his own life as an example, including his initial run for United States Senator in 1972.

“Everybody wondered how I could possibly do it. I had no money,” he said. “I had no real background. I was a county councilman before that. But I cared deeply about the issues that were plaguing our country.”

This was the second time Biden has spoken at DSU. He also spoke in 1992.  For some of the students his message of perseverance was made clear.

Lance Edwards, a graduate, was already exhausted but picked up on the main points of Biden’s speech.

“Never give up no matter what you’re facing in life,” he said.

Tasha Dorsey was especially moved by his response to the tragedies he’s faced.

“It was very inspiring,” she said.  “Especially the part about his wife and daughters dying and he had these two little boys and he just pushed forward.”