Tom Hanks Receives Honorary Doctorate From Harvard & Gives Commencement Speech At Graduation

Tom Hanks Receives Honorary Doctorate From Harvard & Gives Commencement Speech At Graduation
Tom Hanks
May 2023

Tom Hanks is now Dr. Thomas Jeffrey Hanks.

The 66-year-old actor received his Doctorate of Arts degree from Harvard University before giving the commencement speech, urging the graduating class to fight for truth by referencing superheroes.

"We are all in a cage match, mixed martial arts battle royale with agents of intolerance and braying incompetence, the malevolent equals to Imperial stormtroopers, Lex Luther, and Loki. And we could use a superhero right now," the Toy Story actor said.

Keep reading to find out more..."There ain't no Superman, nor anyone else in his Justice League," Tom added. "In the never-ending battle, you have all officially joined as of today, the difference is in how truly you believe, in how vociferously you promote, in how tightly you hold onto the truth that is self-evident: that of course we are all created equally yet differently, and of course, we are all in this together."

Tom then encouraged the class to focus on the importance of truth in our society. "For the truth, to some, is no longer empirical. It's no longer based on data nor common sense nor even common decency," he said.

"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, by zero-sum end games," the Forrest Gump actor explained. "Imagery is manufactured with audacity, with purpose to achieve the primal task of marring the truth with mock logic to achieve with fake expertise, with false sincerity."

Tom also received a Wilson volleyball with Harvard printed on it, referencing his 2000 film Castaway.

He also made references to fictional Harvard professor Robert Langdon, a character he portrayed in three movies in the The Da Vinci Code series, joking about his own lack of credentials.