Harvard just announced that Facebook founder and aspiring politician Mark Zuckerberg will deliver this year’s commencement address. As part of the deal, the university will give Zuckerberg an honorary degree and an honorary doctoral gown. This, despite the fact that Zuck dropped out of Harvard College in his second year.
Clearly elated by this turn of events, Mark Zuckerberg invited Bill Gates to sit on a sofaand endure almost 60 seconds of very bad acting as he pretended to spot Harvard’s invitation on his iPhone. Gates casually munches on snacks as Zuck grins at him like an impatient school boy with a crush on the teacher. The ageing Microsoft founder and fellow dropout—who gave the Harvard commencement address ten years ago when Zuck’s wife Priscilla graduated as Mark watched from the crowd—is a good sport about the whole thing. He even pretends to help Zuckerberg write his speech. It’s all pretty painful to watch.
So mark your calendars, education fans. On May 25th, Zuckerberg will stand behind a microphone in Harvard Yard and anoint the latest class of graduates who actually managed to earn their degrees. Priscilla will surely look on affectionately, remembering how she not only graduated from university but also medical school. Perhaps they’ll stay through the weekend so that Priscilla can enjoy some of the festivities surrounding her 10-year reunion. Maybe they’ll stop at Burdick’s in Harvard Square, where they ate little chocolate mice on their first date. Very possibly they’ll announce some sort of donation to Harvard, the richest school in America with an endowment of $35 billion.
Realistically, though, Zuckerberg will wonder if his speech will be as good as the one Tim Cook will give at MIT’s commencement on June 9th. Tim Cook graduated from Duke, twice. It’s hard for anyone to compete with such well educated men and women. So please pray for poor Mark, who gave up on university to pursue his dreams. [Harvard Magazine]