Tom Hanks urges Harvard graduates to defend truth and American ideals
During his keynote address at Harvard’s 372nd commencement, two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks spoke to the graduates about the importance of truth and American ideals. He warned against those who twist the truth for their own gain and stated that telling the truth is no longer the benchmark for public service. Hanks invoked Harvard’s motto, « veritas, » and urged the graduates to be superheroes in their defense of truth and American ideals.
Hanks emphasized that the responsibility to defend truth and American ideals is not just for the graduates but for all grownups. He stated that there are three types of Americans: those who embrace liberty and freedom for all, those who won’t, and those who are indifferent. Only the first group does the work of creating a more perfect union, a nation indivisible. The others get in the way.
Hanks pokes fun at his lack of academic credentials
Hanks, who was awarded an honorary doctor of arts degree, poked fun at his own lack of academic credentials on a stage filled with some of the world’s brightest minds and most accomplished scientists. He joked that he makes a damn good living playing someone who did attend Harvard, referring to his depiction of fictional Harvard professor Robert Langdon in three movies based on Dan Brown’s novels.
Before Hanks gave his speech, Harvard president Lawrence Bacow presented him with a Harvard volleyball, in tribute to his role in Cast Away, where to stay sane his character talks to an old volleyball. 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 conclusion, Hanks’ speech at Harvard’s commencement emphasized the importance of truth and American ideals. He urged the graduates to be superheroes in their defense of truth and American ideals and warned against those who twist the truth for their own gain. Hanks’ humor and humility also shone through in his speech, making him a hit with the audience.
Keywords: Tom Hanks, Harvard, commencement, truth, American ideals, superheroes, Cast Away.
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