Cornell Dairy is teaming up with the Cornell Convocation Committee to name an ice cream flavor after former Vice President Joe Biden, who will speak at this year’s convocation on May 27.
Biden is known for his love of the frozen treat, which has spawned a Tumblr page, countless internet memes and led to his donning aviator sunglasses and munching on a cone with Jimmy Fallon.
“My name is Joe Biden, and I love ice cream,” the 47th vice president declared in May of 2016. “You all think I’m kidding — I’m not. I eat more ice cream than the three other people you’d like to be with, all at once.”
So when the Convocation Committee announced Biden would be speaking to graduating seniors this year at Schoellkopf Field, Molly Mandel ’17, who interned for the Cornell Dairy Processing Plant last semester, immediately thought of creating a flavor for the former Delaware senator.
“We need to make a flavor for Joe Biden,” Mandel texted to Deanna Simons, quality manager and academic programs coordinator for Cornell Dairy.
Simons said she is a “huge fan” of Biden, but had no idea he was so passionate about ice cream until Mandel pointed her to the dozens of pictures online.
“There’s these pictures of him eating all kinds of ice cream,” Simons said. “I didn’t even know how to figure out what his favorite ice cream is.”
Biden earned his bachelor’s degree from University of Delaware, so Simons called the UDairy Creamery, which said there had never been an ice cream named after the vice president and that his favorite flavor is old-fashioned chocolate chip.
The project really kicked into gear after a fictional Facebook event page sprung up titled, “Joe Biden eats Cornell Dairy ice cream,” and more than 3,000 people indicated their interest.
Cornell Dairy took note of the overwhelming response and began to make Cornell students’ memes a cold-hard reality, filling about 30 three-gallon tubs with vanilla-based ice cream and chocolate chips.
Narrowing a list of 150 suggested flavor names down to five, Convocation Committee Chair Matthew Baumel ’17 set up a vote on the final possibilities, which will run until 11:59 on Monday night.
The five possible names are: Biden’s Chocolate Bites; Bits n’ Biden; Big Red, White & Biden; Not Your Average Joe’s Chocolate Chip; and Uncle Joe’s Chocolate Chip.
“We don’t know why [Biden] loves ice cream so much, but there’s always been social media posts about ice cream and him, so we thought this would be a unique way for Cornell to welcome him,” Baumel said.
“It’s Cornell’s Dairy’s duty to help out here,” Mandel added. “I think it’s common sense for Cornell Dairy to make a Joe Biden flavor and it gets people even more excited.”
The final name will still have to be cleared with Biden’s representatives, but there are tentative plans to scoop the ice cream at convocation and possibly sell it in the week leading up to the festivities.
“If it gains momentum, we’ll make more,” Simons said. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed, we’re holding our breaths.”