“This is an extremely big night for Delaware,” said Dean Linda L. Ammons
, adding, “We are extremely proud of our colleague.” Vice President-elect and Delaware Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr
. has served as an adjunct faculty member at Widener Law, Delaware’s only law school, since 1991, teaching a seminar on issues in constitutional law.
As Election Day results rolled in late Tuesday night, it became clear that Senator Barack Obama of Illinois would be elected the 44th president, and that Biden would join him as Vice President. Biden’s class has always been one of the most popular seminars offered at Widener Law’s Delaware campus, and usually has a waiting list of students hoping that a seat will open. Senator Biden was also the commencement speaker at Widener University’s Chester campus in May 2006, and he received an honorary doctor of laws degree from the university in May of 2000. “If he is as good a Vice-President as he is a faculty member here, then the nation is in good hands,” noted Dean Ammons. Discussing Senator Biden’s future with the school, she declared, “He will just be on leave here, and I hope to see him back.”
Dean Ammons commented on Barack Obama’s historic victory in the presidential race as well, saying, “We as a nation have decided that talent comes in many different packages,” echoing others who have noted the significance of the 2008 election. In a gracious concession speech, Obama’s opponent, Senator John McCain, recognized the significance of the evening’s results as well, and he called for unity, saying, “I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.”
In his victory speech, Senator Obama too spoke of unity and urged a more civil political discourse; “Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.” He invoked the words of Abraham Lincoln, adding, “As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, ‘We are not enemies, but friends...though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.’ And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.”
President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden are set to take office on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009.