13 years after quitting, Zuckerberg gets (honorary) Harvard degree

The Facebook CEO and famous college dropout left the Ivy League university 12 years ago to found the social network, but he returned Thursday to pick up a honorary doctor of laws degree and drop some wisdom on the class of 2017.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and actress Judi Dench received honorary Harvard degrees Wednesday. Talking to its graduation class Mark said that it is up to their generation to create a world where every single person has a sense of goal.

Zuckerberg, who founded Facebook before dropping out of Harvard, also used his speech to explain his view of technology in starkly clear terms: he believes that technological progress as a whole is threatening to many people's way of life, but certain individual technologies, including Facebook, actually change people's lives for the better. We met in line for the bathroom in the Pfoho Belltower, and in what must be one of the all time romantic lines, I said: "'I'm going to get kicked out in three days, so we need to go on a date quickly, '" he told the audience.

"At tomorrow's commencement, I'll share what I've learned about our generation and the world we're all building together", he wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

Dressed in a suit and a light blue tie, rather than his usual grey T-shirt and jeans, Zuckerberg told students that they're graduating during a challenging yet important time in which technology is displacing jobs and many people are feeling disconnected and depressed.

Finland began a pilot earlier this year, where it pays 2,000 people a monthly tax-free payment of €560 (£490; $600) is to see whether providing a basic income will make the unemployed more eager to go into short-term jobs.

He called for affordable childcare and health care that doesn't just come from an employer, and asked Harvard graduates to volunteer their time, not just their money, to people who don't have the same opportunity. "How about modernizing democracy so everyone can vote online, and personalizing education so everyone can learn", Zuckerberg continued.

Others included "10 websites that Mark Zuckerbook stole from the water sports boys", "Boy wonder Mruff Zunderbrall scores winning goooal!" and "More Zinkletink zonks all over the internet".

Zuckerberg co-founded thefacebook.com from his dorm room in the University and dropped out of the college in the year 2005 after his company shifted its headquarters to California. Such gossip has been fueled by Zuckerberg's decision to tour every USA state in a bid to better understand how migration and technology are impacting on the lives of ordinary Americans. "Instead, I'm here to tell you finding your goal isn't enough". "And I promise you, if you just take an hour or two a week - that's all it takes to give someone a hand and help them reach their potential".

  • Salvatore Jensen