Tom Hanks receives honorary degree from Harvard after keynote speech
In addition to being awarded an honorary doctor's degree in art, Hanks was presented with a Harvard volleyball in reference to his role in Cast Away.
In a speech at Harvard’s 372nd commencement, Tom Hanks, the two-time Academy Award-winning actor, addressed thousands of graduates against the disinformation crisis that has plagued the US, imploring the students to be superheroes in their defense of the truth and American values.
“Telling the truth is no longer the benchmark for public service, It’s no longer the salve to our fears or the guide to our actions. Truth is now considered malleable, by opinion and by zero-sum endgames,” he said calling on the students to make a choice.
“It’s the same option for all grownups 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.”
“The responsibility is yours. Ours. The effort is optional. But the truth, the truth is sacred. Unalterable. Chiseled into the stone and the foundation of our republic,” he said.“May goodness and mercy follow you all the days,” Hanks said, referencing a biblical verse. “All the days of your lives. Godspeed.”
Hanks proved to be the most popular person on stage, posing for selfies with faculty members before the ceremony and giving congratulatory fist bumps to dozens of Harvard students who graduated summa cum laude.
In addition to being awarded an honorary doctor's degree in art, Hanks was presented with a Harvard volleyball in commemoration of his role in Cast Away.
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