From a family of military heroes, John McCain began his service in the United States Navy in 1958 after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy. During his 22 years of service, McCain rose to the rank of Captain. He served as a Navy pilot in the Caribbean during the Cuban Missile Crisis and later conducted targeted air strikes in North Vietnam.
On October 26, 1967, McCain’s plane was shot down over Hanoi during a bombing mission. He was captured and spent years in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp being tortured by his captors. Despite the torture he endured, McCain refused the opportunity for early release until all of his fellow soldiers were released. For his heroism, Senator McCain has received 17 military awards and decorations, including the Silver Star, the Navy Commendation Medal, and the Bronze Star. In 1982, McCain was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving two terms.
In 1986, he was elected to the U.S. Senate representing Arizona. He has served in the Senate ever since, winning reelection five times. He also ran for President in 2000 and 2008.
VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH R. BIDEN, JR.
Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., was born November 20, 1942, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the first of four siblings. In 1953, the Biden family moved from Pennsylvania to Claymont, Delaware. He graduated from the University of Delaware and Syracuse Law School and served on the New Castle County Council. Then, at age 29, he became one of the youngest people ever elected to the United States Senate. As a Senator from Delaware for 36 years, Vice President Biden established himself as a leader in facing some of our nation’s most important domestic and international challenges.
As Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee for 17 years, then-Senator Biden was widely recognized for his work on criminal justice issues, including the landmark 1994 Crime Act and the Violence Against Women Act. 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, Joe Biden continued his leadership on important issues facing the nation and represented our country abroad traveling over 1.2 million miles to more than 50 countries. Vice President Biden convened sessions of the President’s Cabinet, led interagency efforts, and worked with Congress in his fight to raise the living standards of middle class Americans, reduce gun violence, address violence against women, and end cancer as we know it.
Howard Schultz built Starbucks Coffee Company into one of the world’s most recognized and respected businesses, a company committed to strengthening communities through human connection and social innovation. Howard grew up in public housing and was the first in his family to graduate college. As a young entrepreneur, he set out to build a different kind of company, one that delivers business excellence through a culture of compassion. Under his leadership, Starbucks has delivered approximately 18,000 percent in shareholder returns since its Initial Public Offering in 1992, while pioneering programs like comprehensive healthcare, stock ownership and free college tuition for all eligible employees. Today, Starbucks has over 26,000 stores in 75 countries and ranks third on Fortune’s list of “World’s Most Admired Companies.”
Howard’s groundbreaking initiatives through Starbucks and the Schultz Family Foundation, co-founded with his wife Sheri, have extended employment and educational opportunities to hundreds of thousands of Starbucks partners (employees) and people outside the company. Since 2013, Starbucks has hired more than 10,000 veterans and military spouses, and is committed to hiring 15,000 more by 2025. The Schultz Family Foundation has donated over $30 million to help America’s veterans overcome the challenges of returning to civilian life and maximize their skills for America’s businesses and communities. After more than three decades as Starbucks chairman and CEO, Howard has redefined the role and responsibility of a for-profit, public company, proving that a business can exceed expectations by sharing success with its people and the communities it serves.
Dr. Amy Gutmann, President and Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science in the School of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Communication in the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. Since being named the eighth president of the University of Pennsylvania in 2004, Amy Gutmann has won national renown for her commitment to increasing diversity, interdisciplinary excellence, civic leadership, and service among faculty, students, and staff. The blueprint of those efforts, Penn Compact 2020, outlines next steps to increase access, integrate knowledge, and engage locally, nationally, and globally. A first-generation college student herself, Dr. Gutmann has worked tirelessly to expand the number of students from low-income, middle-income, and first-generation college families at Penn. Under her leadership, Penn has become the nation’s largest university offering an all-grant financial aid policy meeting the full need of undergraduate students. Dr. Gutmann has raised more than $5 billion for Penn, including for high strategic priorities as endowed scholarships, professorships, programs, and student awards, and recruited eminent faculty leaders to Penn, all with a focus on integrating knowledge across academic disciplines. The University is Philadelphia’s largest employer, with 37,000 employees, and most vibrant civic partner. Penn has added 4 million square feet of developed space during Dr. Gutmann’s tenure, including the development of the Pennovation Works campus on the eastern shore of the Schuylkill River, which is jumpstarting innovation, entrepreneurial activity, and technology commercialization for the entire Philadelphia region. Dr. Gutmann was appointed by President Obama to chair the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, a position she has held since 2009. She continues her scholarship as Penn’s president, publishing her sixteenth book, The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It (with Dennis Thompson) in 2012.
Jeffrey Rosen is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Constitution Center, the only institution in America chartered by Congress “to disseminate information about the United States Constitution on a nonpartisan basis.” He is also a professor at The George Washington University Law School, and a contributing editor for The Atlantic.
Rosen is a highly regarded journalist and columnist whose essays and commentaries have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and The New Republic, among many others. Rosen is also a frequent guest on numerous National Public Radio programs, along with MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN. The Chicago Tribune named him one of the 10 best magazine journalists in America and the Los Angeles Times called him “the nation’s most widely read and influential legal commentator.” He received the 2012 Golden Pen Award from the Legal Writing Institute for his “extraordinary contribution to the cause of better legal writing.”
Rosen is the author of five books, including Louis Brandeis: American Prophet; The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America; The Most Democratic Branch: How the Courts Serve America; The Naked Crowd: Reclaiming Security and Freedom in an Anxious Age; and The Unwanted Gaze: The Destruction of Privacy in America. He is co-editor, along with Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes, of Constitution 3.0: Freedom and Technological Change.
THE UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY GLEE CLUB
The United States Naval Academy Glee Club is composed of The United States Naval Academy Men’s Glee Club, which has achieved national prominence as one of America’s premier choral ensembles, and The United States Naval Academy Women’s Glee Club, which is the only all-female military choral ensemble in the world. Appearances on network television include The Kennedy Center Honors (CBS), The Today Show (NBC), The Early Show (CBS), Christmas in Washington (NBC and TNT), Good Morning, America (ABC), and countless regional and local television stations. The Glee Clubs often perform masterpieces of choral-orchestral literature combining with the nation’s leading orchestras. In addition to the Academy’s annual presentation of Handel’s Messiah, the Glee Clubs are featured each year on the Naval Academy’s Distinguished Artist Series. The ability to perform in such a variety of public venues undoubtedly assists in the recruitment of potential candidates who otherwise would not be exposed to the incredible opportunities offered by attending the Naval Academy and presents our midshipmen to the public at the highest level of professionalism to audiences around the globe as ambassadors for the United States and its Armed Forces. It is with honor, pride, and distinction that the Glee Clubs represent the United States, the Navy and Marine Corps, and the United States Naval Academy.