Vice President Joe Biden on Monday urged graduates of the University of Pennsylvania to take advantage of advancements in science and technology to help the nation maintain its leadership in the world.

"We are so well positioned to lead the world into the 21st century, and we have to take advantage of it," he told the 5,000 graduates and their families at the university's 257th commencement at Franklin Field.

But Biden said when it came to giving specific advice, he knew better.

"I have gained too much wisdom to offer any advice," Biden said. "Every graduating class faces unique challenges."

Before speaking at the ceremony, Penn President Amy Gutmann conferred an honorary doctorate of laws degree on the vice president.

"Your leadership has shown us that we must not be deterred by the differences which can so often divide us," she said.

Seven others also received honorary degrees.