Vice President Joe Biden to open The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speakers Series 75th anniversary season on Oct. 16

September 18, 2018



The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speakers Series, hosted by The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, Michigan, welcomes Vice President Joe Biden, the 47th Vice President of the United States, on Tuesday, October 16, 2018. He opens the Economic Club’s 75th anniversary season as he shares his perspectives on a range of nationally relevant topics during An Evening with Vice President Joe Biden.


As a senator from Delaware for 36 years, he was a leading architect of domestic policy on some of the most pressing issues facing the country. Then-Senator 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. He has worked relentlessly since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994 to change the culture around domestic violence and sexual assault, and protect and strengthen victims’ rights.


As chairman or ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for 12 years, then-Senator Biden played a pivotal role in shaping U.S. foreign policy. He has been at the forefront of issues and legislation related to terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, post-Cold War Europe, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia.


As the 47th vice president of the United States, he oversaw the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was integral to rescuing the economy from the brink of another Great Depression. The Recovery Act added 2 million jobs to the economy and made an unprecedented investment in America’s infrastructure. According to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, under Vice President Biden’s oversight, more than $800 billion dollars were injected into the economy with less than two-tenths-of-one-percent waste, fraud, or abuse – making it one of the most efficient government programs in history. 


As Vice President, he also 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.


Vice President 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.


In January 2017, President Obama awarded Vice President Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom, with Distinction — the highest civilian honor in the U.S.


Since leaving the White House, Vice President Biden continues his legacy of expanding opportunity for all with the creation of the Biden Foundation, the University of Pennsylvania Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, and the Biden Institute for Domestic Policy at the University of Delaware. He and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, have also founded the Biden Cancer Initiative, and they continue their son Beau’s work protecting children from abuse with the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children. Vice President Biden is the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller “Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose,” a memoir released in 2017.


Vice President Biden is an alumnus of the University of Delaware, class of 1965.


The presentation is open to Economic Club members and to the public with advance ticket purchase. Grand Upton Hall doors open at 5:30 pm, Mainstage doors open at 6 pm, and the presentation begins at 7 pm. Details about each ticket option are available at Tickets pricing and ordering information can be found at, by calling 269-927-8700, option 1, or by visiting The Mendel Center Box Office in person. The box office, located in the Grand Upton Hall Lobby, is open weekdays from 10 am to 6 pm.


There is still time to purchase Speakers Series season memberships for Grand Upton Hall and Mainstage. Members have access to exclusive speaker ticket pre-sale opportunities and received the lowest per-speaker ticket prices of the season. Other Economic Club speakers include Wes Moore (Nov. 14), Chuck Todd (Mar. 26), and Reshma Saujani (Apr. 9).


Complete membership information is available at and by contacting The Mendel Center box office during regular business hours.


About The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speakers Series

Established in 1943, the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan has brought more than 430 world leaders, policy makers, experts, and other newsmakers to the region. Its goal is to provide unique opportunities for personal and community growth. By presenting national and international speakers from a wide range of fields and expertise, this non-partisan series is dedicated to the discussion of social, economic, and public policy questions important in today’s complex society.


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