WHYY to honor Biden at annual dinner


WHYY will honor the 47th Vice President of the United States Joseph R. Biden, Jr. with its Lifelong Learning Award at the 16th annual WHYY President’s Dinner on  June 13. The event takes place at WHYY’s Dorrance H. Hamilton Public Media Commons and features an on-stage interview with Biden by Terry Gross, host of WHYY’s Fresh Air. The interview will be recorded for broadcast on NPR.

“Vice President Biden’s distinguished career in public service and unwavering commitment to educating our nation’s children is an inspiration to all of us,” said William J. Marrazzo,  CEO of WHYY, Inc.  “His life’s work emulates WHYY’s mission to strengthen our Country by providing trusted news & information services, access to creative expression and lifelong learning opportunities.”

As a U.S. senator from Delaware for 36 years, Biden served as chairman or ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee for 17 years, and was a preeminent voice on criminal justice issues, including authoring both the landmark 1994 Crime Act and the Violence Against Women Act.  As vice president of the United States, Biden oversaw the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was integral to rescuing the economy from the brink of another Great Depression.  

Biden chaired the Middle-Class Task Force, an administration-wide effort to improve the everyday lives and livelihoods of working men and women, and oversaw the administration’s Skills Initiative to improve federal workforce training programs. He authored “Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity,” a report to the president on how best to ensure American workers are trained for the jobs of the 21st century.

Biden also led the administration’s efforts to implement meaningful reforms to reduce gun violence in this country, which resulted in federal actions aimed at strengthening the background check system and addressing mental health issues linked to gun violence, among others.  President Barack Obama recently awarded Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom, with Distinction, the highest civilian honor in the U.S.

  The WHYY President’s Dinner, is held each year at WHYY’s studios on Independence Mall in Philadelphia and features a reception and dinner for hundreds of the area’s leading civic, corporate, and major public media supporters.  Previous recipients have included former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, news anchors Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil, broadcaster Cokie Roberts, Philadelphia’s  musical entrepreneurs  Kenny Gamble,  and Jack Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group. 

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