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President Joe Biden to headline South Carolina State graduation this Friday

Rep. James Clyburn was initially expected to be the keynote speaker but asked Biden to speak in his stead.

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — The president of the United States will be the next keynote speaker for South Carolina State University.

The university announced on Saturday morning that Joe Biden, the 46th and current president, is expected to speak at the fall commencement which will be held on Dec. 17 at Smith Hammond Middleton Memorial Center.

“The South Carolina State University family is honored and grateful to host President Biden when he addresses our graduates as they set a course for their futures,” Interim SC State President Alexander Conyers said in a statement released alongside the announcement. “Our students will no doubt remember his words for the rest of their lives. This is indeed a privilege for all here at SC State."

Initially, Congressman James Clyburn had been scheduled to serve as the keynote speaker, the university said. But Clyburn instead invited Biden to deliver the commencement address instead.

Clyburn, who is receiving his own degree during the ceremony, will march with the class of 2021. The university said he didn't march to receive his degree from South Carolina State College in 1961 since the college didn't hold December ceremonies at that time.

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