On Wednesday, Harvard University announced Mark Zuckerberg will deliver the university’s 2017 commencement speech, as well as earn an honorary degree. For the Facebook co-founder, the speech will be something of a homecoming.
By now, the details of Zuckerberg’s career at Harvard is well-known thanks to media like David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin’s hit movie The Social Network.
In 2002, the future Facebook CEO enrolled in Harvard’s prestigious computer science undergraduate program. In his second year at the university, he and several of his friends and classmates co-created thefacebook.com.
Initially envisioned as an internal Harvard University social network, the platform expanded beyond the limits of Harvard’s campus and quickly became popular at universities across the United States. Zuckerberg and company subsequently moved to Palo Alto, California in 2005 to focus on the venture. He had intended to return to Harvard to finish his degree. Unfortunately, running one of the largest tech companies in the world leave little time for someone to attend class.
“Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership has profoundly altered the nature of social engagement worldwide. Few inventions in modern times can rival Facebook in its far-reaching impact on how people around the globe interact with one another,” said Drew Faust, president of Harvard University, in a statement. “And few individuals can rival Mark Zuckerberg in his drive to change our world through the innovative use of technology, as well as his commitment to advance science, enhance education, and expand opportunity through the pursuit of philanthropy.”
To commemorate the occasion, Zuckerberg released a video in which he asks, in his usual awkward style, fellow university dropout Bill Gates for tips on writing his commencement speech. Gates delivered Harvard’s commencement speech in 2007. Coincidently, Zuckerberg was there to see the event because his future Priscilla Chan, was graduating that year.