Tom Hanks receives honorary Harvard degree despite not doing a 'lick of work' for it
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The actor appeared at the prestigious university to deliver a commencement speech to graduates in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The school bestowed an honorary doctorate of arts upon the actor and he joked he was given the high honour 'without having done a lick of work, without having spent any time in class, without once walking into that library.'
"I don't know much about Latin, I have no real passion for enzymes, and public global policy is something I scan in the newspaper just before I do the Wordle," the humble actor admitted.
However, once Hanks managed to loosen up the crowd with a few knee-slapping jokes, he began using metaphors from America's superhero-obsessed culture.
He referenced the legacy of Superman while urging the class of 2023 to keep 'the promise of our promised land'.
“We are all in a cage match, mixed martial arts battle royale with agents of hubris, apathy, intolerance, and braying incompetence — the malevolent equals to imperial Stormtroopers, Lex Luthor, and Loki,” he said before the crowd.
“And we could all use a superhero right now.”
He then spoke about indifference and how it is the 'nemesis' of truth.
“Every day, every year, and for every graduating class, there is a choice to be made," he said.
"It’s the same option for all grown-ups who have to decide to be one of three types of Americans: those who embrace liberty and freedom for all, those who won’t or those who are indifferent.
"Only the first do the work of creating a more perfect union, a nation indivisible. The others get in the way.”
Harvard President Lawrence Bacow, presiding over his last commencement before stepping down, also presented Hanks with a Harvard volleyball, in a tribute to Wilson from Cast Away.
The actor's speech was met with much praise, as one person wrote to Twitter: "Tom Hanks is America's Dad."
Another said: "Tom Hanks has such a beautiful speaking voice."
A third commented: "Love this short, but important portion of Tom Hanks’ speech. Being logical seems so obvious to me, but I’m learning propaganda and fear are VERY powerful lead characters in human civilizations. Spread happiness, not hate."
While another joke: "Congrats to the Class of '23 and make sure you hand Tom Hanks your screenplay before he hops on the T."
Well, he may not have studied, but he sure made up for it in extra credit.