A long and distinguished career in public service has led UD alumnus Joseph R. Biden, Jr., AS65, to his current, most prestigious position as 46th president of the United States. In April 2017, he announced a strategic partnership with the University of Delaware, offering our students, faculty and staff new opportunities around public policy and civic engagement.

Delaware First: The Campaign for the University of Delaware embraces that spirit through the Biden Institute, making even greater opportunities for our students and faculty, with benefits reaching far beyond our campus.

The University looks to our dedicated alumni, friends, parents, faculty and staff to philanthropically contribute $20 million to the project, making the vision a reality.



This bold initiative includes four funding priorities in order to both create solutions to challenging global problems through public policy and civic engagement as well as to enhance the campus experience. They include:

  • exploring U.S. domestic policy issues by growing the Biden Institute programs and outreach
  • strengthening UD social sciences by investing in graduate students and faculty
  • empowering this intellectual capital investment with special programs to broaden outreach and frequency
  • providing a core centralized home for the Biden Institute and social sciences at UD


The Biden Institute pairs the former vice president’s long-time work in domestic policy issues with UD’s strengths in public policy education and research. The Institute unites and engages students, alumni, community members, academics, politicians, activists and policymakers by stimulating a bipartisan discussion of issues of national relevance. Through philanthropy, we can expand student internships, practicum opportunities and global experiential learning, and deliver key lectures, conferences and speaker series featuring world leaders and experts in civic engagement and public service, providing our students with the tools and resources to lead us into tomorrow.



Great schools are driven by great faculty. With the generosity of donors, the University’s Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration (Biden School) will expand its intellectual capacity by strategically hiring up to 16 new faculty members and funding up to 25 new graduate assistantships. With donor support, the Biden School will be globally recognized in public affairs and outstanding undergraduate and graduate programs as we carry out public and community service to improve the quality of life in Delaware, across the nation and around the world.  


The University’s social sciences, of which the Biden School and the Biden Institute are part, have enormous potential for interdisciplinary partnerships, programs, scholarship and collaborative teaching. Other social sciences units at UD include political science, international relations, sociology, criminal justice, communication, anthropology, education, economics, psychology and women and gender studies. Currently, the various departments are spread throughout eight buildings, greatly limiting collaboration and duplicating support functions. The University envisions a new building to house our intellectual capital, including our best scholars and graduate students, along with the Biden Institute. Potential additions also include a new graduate education space; centralized campus media interview space; and a multicultural center and amphitheater within the space. The shared space would enable us to grow interdisciplinary programs and support inclusive excellence. Philanthropic support is crucial to helping make this vision a reality. Join us in this transformational endeavor.

Campaign Progress

Current Campain Progress: $840,064,252 of $750,000,000

We invite you to join UD as we embark on this crucial exploration of public policy and what it means to be an engaged global citizen.

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