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Tom Hanks receives Honorary Doctorate from Harvard University

ANI | | Edited by Tuhin Das Mahapatra
May 26, 2023 09:28 AM IST

Two-time Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks has received an honorary doctor of arts degree from Harvard University.

Two-time Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks has received an honorary doctor of arts degree from Harvard University.

Actor Tom Hanks examines a ball as part of a spoof during Harvard University commencement exercises on the school's campus, Thursday, May 25, 2023, in Cambridge, Mass. Hanks was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Arts during the ceremonies. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)(AP)

Hanks, 66, appeared at Harvard University to deliver a commencement address to graduating students in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Thursday, People reported.

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.”

"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," he joked to graduates as he spoke at Harvard Yard's Tercentenary Theatre, before urging students to stand up against the "indifference of a people who have been made weary by struggle."

"Indifference makes citizens into indentured servants held in labor by the despots and tyrants whose default setting is cynicism, who outlawed dissent and ban art and dialogue and books," Hanks said, during a speech filled with references to Superman and other superheroes.

"Every day, every year, and for every graduating class, there is a choice to be made," Hanks told the graduating class. "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."

During Hanks' appearance at the university, Harvard also gave him a Harvard-branded volleyball in reference to his 2000 movie Cast Away.

Back in March, Harvard University announced the ‘Forest Grump star as its esteemed commencement speaker for the year 2023. University President Larry Bacow expressed his admiration for the acclaimed actor, stating that Hanks has made significant contributions to our national culture and has played a vital role in broadening our understanding of untold stories and histories.

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Prior to embarking on his illustrious acting career, the two-time Academy Award Winner actor honed his skills and passion for the arts by studying theater at Chabot College. He further pursued his education and graduated from California State University in Sacramento, California.

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