Harvard University

Oscar-Winner Tom Hanks to Address Harvard's Class of 2023 at Commencement

Hanks has starred in many iconic films, like "Forrest Gump" and "A League of Their Own"

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Hollywood movie star Tom Hanks has been announced as the principal speaker of Harvard's 372nd Commencement, happening on May 25.

Hanks, 66, will also be given an honorary degree, the university's news site, The Harvard Gazette, said.

The California native has become among the most recognizable film stars, after being credited for roles in nearly 100 films over the decades. His work includes starring in iconic movies like "Forrest Gump," "Apollo 13," "Philadelphia," "Captain Phillips" and so many more.

Hanks has also dedicated much of his time to activism and philanthropy.

“A true master of his craft, Tom Hanks has given life to some of the most compelling, beloved, and iconic characters on the screen,” Harvard President Larry Bacow said in the university's story. “Over five decades, he has entertained, enlightened, and befriended us. He has made us laugh, cry, question, and think. In addition to his brilliance as an actor, Tom has demonstrated both an innate empathy and a deep understanding of the human condition. He has contributed to our national culture and expanded our ability to appreciate stories and histories that have been previously unexamined. I very much look forward to his address in May.”

He'll join a list of other Harvard Commencement speakers that have addressed graduates in recent years, a club that includes former Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern, the late Civil Rights activist and U.S. Representative John Lewis, filmmaker Steven Spielberg, as well as president emerita of Brown, Smith and Prairie View A&M University Ruth Simmons.

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