Mark Zuckerberg's Harvard Commencent Speech Reveals What He Cares About Most

Cornelia Mascio
Mag 26, 2017

In his address, which he said he'd been working on "for a long time", Zuckerberg urged graduates of his alma mater to "build great things". Oh, and it seems he can't call himself a college dropout anymore.

Zuckerberg, who like the graduates is a millennial, started Facebook in his dorm room in 2004. Zuckerberg has spent this year traveling around the U.S.to understand what people feel about Facebook and how they form connections with each other, after the country's presidential election revealed deep divides.

When he first created Facebook, he thought someone else would be the one to connect the world.

"The official word from myself", said the man identifying as Zinklebink, "along with the Harvard Lampoon and that is we are appalled the lack of integrity from the Harvard Crimson, we pledge to donate a dollar for every dollar the Crimson gives to the News Integrity Initiative".

Even if you don't work at Facebook, or weren't inspired to pursue a CS degree, Zuckerberg's work is still central to campus life.

As of March, Facebook had 1.94 billion monthly active users worldwide and 18,770 employees.

"You're graduating at a time when this is especially important", Zuckerberg said in the prepared remarks.

Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the commencement address at the Alumni Exercises at Harvard's 366th commencement exercises on May 25, 2017 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Mark Zuckerberg finally has his Harvard degree. "But today, technology and automation are eliminating jobs". And while his speech touched on issues as varied as climate change and universal basic income, education took center stage. "Objective is what creates true happiness", Zuckerberg said. Given how key the News Feed algorithm has been in helping distort information, he's not necessarily wrong. "A student in a dorm room, connecting one community at a time, and keeping at it until one day we can connect the whole world". Zuckerberg's never been hesitant to go all in on things, including stumbles like the rollout of Free Basics in India, or his $100 million waste of a donation to Newark's public schools.

Some of Zuckerberg's remarks echo the manifesto he published earlier this year, outlining how he saw Facebook's mission as establishing a "social infrastructure" for the world.

Zuckerberg closed on an anecdote about a student of his, undocumented, who was anxious about being deported.

Though Zuckerberg has repeatedly said he has no intentions of running for office, his speech was often political. "But if a high school senior who doesn't even know what the world holds for him can do his part to move the world forward, then we it owe it to the world to do our part too".

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