Bill Gates to Receive Honorary Harvard Doctorate

Dennis Faas's picture

Ever sit, stewing in mixed emotion as entertainment journalists report on those grab baskets bestowed upon celebrities for attending the Academy Awards?

It just seems as though the rich get richer, or at least offered expensive gadgets and moisturizers. Now, tech fans can get that very same feeling, with recent word that Microsoft chief Bill Gates will be presented an honorary doctorate from Harvard University, some thirty years after he dropped out of the world-famous college.

Gates will be given the doctorate at Harvard's 356th Commencement, which takes place on June 7. He'll also be the principal speaker at the event, perhaps offering advice on how to make billions upon billions of dollars without ever once changing a bad 80s hairstyle.

You may excuse Gates for his dropout, however. He joined Harvard in 1973 only to leave two years later. The reason? The formation of Microsoft with partner Paul Allen. Together, the two worked on a programming language for the first microcomputer, and the rest, they say, is history. (Source:

It's hardly the only honorary doctorate bestowed upon the gentle genius, although it will be the first from a stateside university. Gates already owns degrees granted from academic institutions in the Netherlands, Sweden, and Japan.

So, why Harvard, why now?

Gates will be given a chance to meet those who actually did graduate from his class. In addition, the doctorate comes as a timely response to Gates and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's recent donation of $25 million to finance a Harvard electrical engineering facility. (Source:

$25 million for a Harvard doctorate? Is that what a graduate education costs these days?

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