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Pell Grants namesake acknowledged by Vice President-Elect Biden

Senator Claiborne Pell (1961-1997)
Senator Claiborne Pell (1961-1997)

College students across the nation have lost a steadfast champion in their struggle to finance their education. Claiborne Pell died January 1st.

US Senator Claiborne de Bora Pell, Rhode Island-D, for whom the college financing grants program is named, died on New Year’s Day. He served in the US Senate for thirty-six years, from January 3, 1961 to January 3, 1997. Senator Pell was known as a long time advocate of expanding higher education opportunity in America by providing money to prospective and continuing college students.

He served as Chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee. He was also committed to reducing the size of the world’s nuclear arsenal and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons. He had also been appointed as the US delegate to the United Nations. He was 90 years of age. Vice President-elect Joe Biden issued the following statement:

Statement by Vice President-elect Joe Biden

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Pell family as they mourn the loss of one of our country’s greatest public servants. Claiborne Pell was a man of extraordinary integrity, grace and decency. Chairman Pell was a mentor to me and one of our nation’s most important voices in foreign policy for over 30 years. He was a leader in the effort to reduce the size of the world’s nuclear arsenal and to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. Few Senators have done more to expand opportunity in America. Because of Senator Pell and the Pell Grant, the doors of college have been opened to millions of Americans—and will continue to be opened to millions more. That is a legacy that will live on for generations to come.”


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