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Tom Hanks Receives Honorary Harvard Doctorate, Urges Grads to Defend the Truth

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Tom Hanks has acquired an honorary doctorate from Harvard University, and he’s used his second on stage to spotlight the significance of defending the fact.

The actor, who acquired a doctorate of arts for his wide-reaching contributions to the movie business, opened his graduation speech by joking that he managed to obtain the diploma “without having done a lick of work, without having spent any time in class, without once walking into that library, in order to have anything to do with the graduating class, Harvard, its faculty, or its distinguished alumna!”

He added, “I make a damn good living playing someone who did. It’s the way of the world, kids!” referring to his onscreen position as Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor in The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons and Inferno. 

He then went on to encourage the 9,000 graduates earlier than him to channel “superheroes” in defence of the fact, and to rise up to those that try to twist it for their very own acquire:

“We all have special powers and abilities far beyond the reach of other mortals,” he stated, explaining it’s up to every particular person to use these powers properly.

“Still, we’d like to look up in the sky and see not a bird, not a plane, but, well, someone who’s young and strong and super, who will fight the never-ending battle for truth, for justice, and for the American way, someone who will take on that work.”

Further explaining his level, he stated the work he’s referring to “is the keeping of the promises of our promised land; the practice of decency, the protection of freedom, and the promotion of liberty for all with no exceptions.”

He described the graduates as  the”newly integrated members of the Justice League of Avengers,” who should struggle for the fact as a result of it’s “no longer empirical. It’s no longer based on data, nor common sense, nor even common decency.”


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“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 and by zero sum endgames.”

He added that indifference is equally damaging: “Indifference makes citizens into indentured servants held in labour by the despots and tyrants whose default setting is cynicism, who outlaw dissent, and ban art and dialogue and books, who grab the power any way they can, enabled by the subterfuge of their co-conspirators, rewarding the rationale of the complicit, and surging into the vacuum caused by the indifference of a people who have been made weary by struggle. So weary that they lose hope and are left to yearn to be saved by the fiction of superheroes.”

He continued,”the accountability is yours. Ours. The effort is non-obligatory, however the fact, the fact is sacred, unalterable, chiseled into the stone of the basis of our republic. All of us are in a position, none of us are tremendous.”

Tom closed his deal with be reminding the graduates they’re “all uniquely, magnificently, simply, human.”

Check out his full speech right here.

(Feature Image Credit: Tinseltown/Shutterstock)

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