Mark Zuckerberg has returned to Harvard University to give a graduation speech and receive an honorary degree.
The Facebook founder and world’s fifth-richest person, worth $62.3 billion, famously dropped out of Harvard after launching the global social-networking website.
Mark Zuckerberg, 33, called for students to “not only create new jobs, but create a new sense of purpose”.
Political experts think he may be positioning himself to run for office.
During his remarks on May 25, Mark Zuckerberg told graduates that “we live in an unstable time”.
“There’s pressure to turn inwards,” he said about those that feel left behind by increased globalization.
“This is the struggle of our time. The forces of freedom, openness and global community against the forces of authoritarianism, isolationism and nationalism.”
Mark Zuckerberg pointed to the dormitory where he launched Facebook, and remarked that meeting his wife, Priscilla, there was the best thing to happen to him at the university.
Before giving remarks, Mark Zuckerberg received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during Harvard’s 366th graduation ceremony.
On May 24, he did a Facebook Live broadcast from his old dorm room.
“This is literally where I sat,” Mark Zuckerberg says, pointing to a small wooden desk and chair inside Kirkland House, which is due to be renovated over the summer.
“I had my little laptop here. And this is where I programmed Facebook,” he tells the camera.
During his commencement address, Mark Zuckerberg told students: “There is something wrong with our system when I can leave here and make billions of dollars in ten years when millions of students can’t afford to pay off their loans, let alone start a business.”
“When you don’t have the freedom to take your idea and turn it into a historic enterprise we all lose,” he continued.
Mark Zuckerberg told stories of meeting “children in juvenile detention and opioid addicts, who told me their lives could have turned out differently if they just had something to do”.
He appeared to get choked up at one point during a story about an high school student who feared he would not be able to enroll in university because he was an undocumented immigrant.
More than 1.9 billion people log onto Facebook every day.
Since its launch in 2004, Facebook has inspired many other social media competitors, including Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram.
In 2007, another Harvard drop-out, Bill Gates, returned for an honorary degree.
Bill Gates addressed students shortly after stepping down from the world’s largest software company, Microsoft, to launch to focus on his charity.
Speaking to graduates at Tuskegee University in Alabama, Michelle Obama has talked about having to fight misperceptions when Barack Obama started running for president in 2008.
First Lady Michelle Obama says she had to deal with more scrutiny, because of the color of her skin.
On her commencement speech at the university, Michelle Obama described the kind of focus she found herself under.
“Back when my husband started campaigning for president, folks had all sorts of questions of me,” the first lady said.
“What kind of First Lady would I be, what kind of issues would I take on?” she said.
“The truth is those kind of questions would be posed to any candidate’s spouse, that’s just the way the process works.
“But as potentially the first African-American First Lady, I was also the focus of another set of questions and speculations, conversations sometimes rooted in the fears and misperceptions of others.
“Was I too loud, or too angry? Or too emasculating? Or was I too soft?
“But eventually I realized, if I wanted to keep my sanity, and not let others define me, there was only one thing I could do, and that was to have faith in God’s plan for me.”
Michelle Obama added: “I love our daughters more than anything in the world, and that may not be the first thing some folks want to hear from an Ivy League educated lawyer, it is truly who I am.
“By staying true to the me I’ve always known, I’ve found that this journey has been incredibly freeing, because no matter what happened I had the peace of mind of knowing that all of the chatter, the name calling the doubting, all of it was just noise.
“It did not define me, it didn’t change who I was, and most importantly it couldn’t hold me back.”
Tiger Woods’ ex-wife, Elin Nordegren, took nine years to get her degree, but she finished with a 3.98 GPA and was named the most outstanding senior in her class at Rollins College.
Elin Nordegren was the apropos commencement speaker at the graduation ceremony as she took her degree in psychology.
Elin Nordegren was named the most outstanding senior in her class at Rollins College (photo People magazine)
According to PEOPLE magazine: “Nordegren started college courses at Rollins in 2005, when she was married to Woods and did not yet have children, chipping away at her degree sometimes one class at a time. She took a semester off following the birth of each of her children – Sam, now 6, and Charlie, now 5 – and again in 2010, in the wake of the spectacular revelations of infidelity by her then-husband. That period she referred to Saturday as “the wild storm of my personal life.”
Elin Nordegren, who divorced Tiger Woods in 2010, was probably a little sidetracked over the course of the time that spanned her degree.
“Yes, nine years is a pretty long time,” she said.
“When I received the honor of speaking today I was happy. I was also a little surprised. I have been called a <<woman with no words>> in the media and criticized for not talking very much.”
Elin Nordegren spoke about how far she’d come since coming to the US as a married 25-year-old.
“Today, nine years later I’m a proud American and have two beautiful children. … But I’m no longer married,” said Elin Nordegren, which elicited laughter and applause from the crowd.
“Your actions inspired me to keep on going to the finish line. We walked the talk,” Tiger Woods’ ex-wife said.