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Wilkes University prepares for Biden visit

The president is heading to Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday afternoon, about a month after he had to cancel his first scheduled visit to Wilkes University.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — It's take-two on President Joe Biden's visit to Wilkes-Barre. He's expected here at the Marts Center on the campus of Wilkes University Tuesday afternoon, and some students here are expecting a lot of buzz.

President Biden will be on his way to the Diamond City for an afternoon address at Wilkes University, weeks after his initial visit was postponed when he tested positive for COVID-19. Barriers are set up outside the Marts Center, awaiting the 46th president's arrival as the campus prepares.

"Some people have gotten out of class tomorrow because it's such a big deal that he's coming," said Mara Adam, a freshman engineering major at Wilkes University. "I think it's going to be a lot busier and a little bit frantic; it's a good thing that he's coming and talking to our school."

"It's something to see the president," said Evan Cole, a freshman. "It doesn't really matter who it is. You see it, and it's like, that's the person running it."

The president's visit falls on Mara Adams and Evan Cole's second day at Wilkes University and just a week after the Biden Administration announced sweeping changes to federal student loans, including $10,000 in student loan forgiveness for anyone making under $125,000, $20,000 for Pell grant recipients.

"Everything is going up, and it's going to continue to go up over the years," Cole said. "I think any help with college tuition and funding is a great help."

"Especially with Wilkes' tuition raising and being a pharmacy major, our last year, we don't really get any financial aid," added Carley Yuhas, a Junior. "I think with the student loans, it will definitely be helpful. Being a college student, I'm 20, it's not that easy to keep up with money."

The White House said the president's visit will focus on the "Safer America Plan,"  which is intended to address gun violence across the United States.

Yuhas had this message for the president.

"As the world goes on, it gets scarier and scarier each day," Yuhas said. "You never know what's going to happen. So, just to keep our country safe."


  • Air Force One is scheduled to land at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport around 1:45 pm on Tuesday. 
  • The president is expected to arrive at Wilkes University at 2:00 pm.
  • The president's motorcade will then make its way to the Wilkes University campus, arriving at 2:00 pm.
  • The president is expected to speak at 3:15 pm.
  • Following his speech, the president will return to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International airport and depart at 4:30 pm. 


As the president makes his way to and from the Diamond City, PennDOT says there will be intermittent road closures in effect between 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on:

  • Interstate 81 north and south between the Moosic exit (180) and Highland Park Boulevard exit (168),
  • The North Cross Valley Expressway (Route 309), north and southbound, between the Kingston/Forty Fort exit (4), all the way to the Interstate 81 interchange, including portions of Route 115.

Get the latest traffic information on WNEP's Traffic Tracker page.


Credit: WNEP

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