Hollywood actor Tom Hanks is a Harvard graduate now! The 66-year-old actor was conferred with an honorary doctorate of arts degree from Harvard University. On Thursday, the Forrest Gump actor appeared at the prestigious university to deliver a commencement speech to graduating students in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The actor-director-writer-producer used metaphors from America’s superhero-obsessed culture during his commencement speech. He said, “There ain’t no Superman, nor anyone else in his Justice League.”
He urged the members of the Class of 2023 to keep “the promise of our promised land,” warning them against the indifference that kills truth, endangers the struggle for equality, and which he termed worse than lies, ignorance, and intolerance.
#Harvard23 Commencement Speaker Tom Hanks 🎓 pic.twitter.com/rEM8pSIDsi
— Harvard University (@Harvard) May 25, 2023
According to The Harvard Gazette, the Oscar-winning actor was the principal speaker at Harvard’s 372nd Commencement, held Thursday in Harvard Yard’s Tercentenary Theatre.
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“Every day, every year, and for every graduating class, there is a choice to be made, the same option for all grown-ups to make: to be one of three types of Americans – those who embrace liberty for all, those who won’t, or those who are indifferent – and only the first do the work of creating a perfect union,” Hanks said. “In the never-ending battle, you have all officially joined as of today, the difference is in how truly you believe, in how vociferously you promote, in how tightly you hold onto the truth that is self-evident: that of course we are all created equally yet differently, and of course we are all in this together.”
The Ivy League school conferred an honorary doctorate of arts upon the actor as he joked that he had received the degree “without having done a lick of work, without having spent any time in class, without once walking into that library.”
During Hanks’ appearance at the university, Harvard gave him a Harvard-branded volleyball about his 2000 movie Cast Away.