Tom Hanks Delivers Commencement Address at Harvard University
Tom Hanks, the renowned actor, delivered the commencement address to the graduating students of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. During the ceremony, the Ivy League school conferred an honorary doctorate of arts upon Hanks, who joked about receiving the degree without doing any work or attending any classes.
In his speech, Hanks urged the students to stand up against the indifference of people who have been made weary by struggle. He emphasized that indifference makes citizens into indentured servants held in labor by despots and tyrants. Hanks also spoke about the importance of embracing liberty and freedom for all, which is the only way to create a more perfect union.
Harvard previously announced Hanks as its 2023 commencement speaker back in March, with university president Larry Bacow saying in a statement at the time that the actor has « contributed to our national culture and expanded our ability to appreciate stories and histories that have been previously unexamined. » During Hanks’ appearance at the university, Harvard also gave him a Harvard-branded volleyball in reference to his 2000 movie Cast Away.
Hanks’ Career and Recent Activities
Hanks, who studied theater at Chabot College and later graduated from California State University in Sacramento, has been in the acting industry for over 40 years and has won two Academy Awards. He and his wife, producer and actress Rita Wilson, recently appeared at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival for the world premiere of the new movie Asteroid City, in which they both appear. The film, directed by Wes Anderson, received a nearly six-minute long standing ovation following its premiere at the international film festival.
As a digital news writer at PEOPLE, Tommy McArdle covered the entertainment industry at Looper and sports at The Sporting News and Boston.com. He graduated from Emerson College in 2019.
Keywords: Tom Hanks, Harvard University, commencement address, honorary doctorate, liberty, freedom, perfect union, Cast Away, Cannes Film Festival, Wes Anderson.
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