U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (D) participates in a roundtable discussion at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. Vice president Biden visited the hospital to further discuss his initiative to eradicate cancer. (Rishi Deka, Daily Utah Chronicle)

 

On Monday, the University of Utah announced that the My U Signature Experience Project (MUSE) initiative will be sponsoring a campus event with a keynote address from former Vice President Joe Biden on Dec. 13, starting at noon.

“We are excited to host former Vice President Joe Biden as part of the MUSE Project’s theme year focused on purpose,” said U Communications Office Assistant Director Annalisa Purser. “We hope his remarks will inspire our students to look for ways to persevere and uplift others along their journeys.”

Biden will be arriving to discuss his 2017 New York Times No. 1 Bestseller, “Promise Me, Dad.” The memoir details the final year of his son Beau’s battle with brain cancer that took his life in 2015.

The memoir is the centerpiece text for the MUSE Project’s annual theme for 2018-2019 — that theme being “Purpose.” The MUSE Project is confident that this event will complement their efforts in student outreach. “We just think that Vice President Biden will have a lot to stay to the benefit of our students,” said Mark Matheson, director of the U’s MUSE Project. “It is a challenging time for a lot of them. They have concerns about their economic outlook as well as for the political outlook of the country. They experience challenges on a personal level. He [Biden] will be going over his own personal challenges with them.”

Matheson also hopes the event will “prove to be a coming-together moment for the university community in general, and not just something for undergraduate students.”

Biden last visited the university in February 2016 as part of a White House initiative on cancer research. Several members of the Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) serve as part of the Cancer Moonshot initiative. HCI CEO Mary Beckerle, who serves as a leading researcher on the initiative’s Blue Ribbon Panel, will be introducing Biden at the keynote address on Dec. 13.

The focus of the event will be on personal development and perseverance. However, the former Vice President has also spent much of his time since leaving the White House as a political activist. He has not made any reference as to whether or not he plans on running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. The 76-year-old has said that he expects to make an official decision early next year.

The event is the most recent in a series of opportunities for students to engage with national figures. For, “Promise Me, Dad,” MUSE will also be hosting a number of lunchtime lectures, book discussion groups and other activities targeted at undergraduate students.

A thousand free copies of former Vice President Biden’s book will be available for students starting Dec. 7 at the MUSE Project’s office in the Sill Center.

The event is free for all students, and tickets will be available starting Dec. 4 at the Kingsbury Hall ticket office.

A brief 15-minute Q&A session will follow the keynote address, and guests may submit questions prior to the event here. Questions must be submitted by Dec. 7.

c.applegate@dailyutahchronicle.com

@ApplegateConnor

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