Gates Garners Honorary Harvard Degree

Dennis Faas's picture

A few months ago, I reported on Harvard University's decision to award Microsoft chairman Bill Gates with an honorary degree. Despite the fact that the average (and highly ambitious) college kid must maintain phenomenal grades and shell out thousands upon thousands of dollars to complete an Ivy league degree, billionaire Gates was awarded one recently, some 33 years after dropping out. Go figure.

Luckily, Gates isn't taking the award too seriously. Speaking in front of graduates on June 8, he joked, "I've been waiting more than thirty years to say this: 'Dad, I always told you I'd come back and get my degree.'" (Source:

Like many first-year college students, Gates attended Harvard in 1973 with little interest in any one area of study. Although software eventually arose as a viable career path for the young tech-head, Gates didn't find an outlet for such passion at Harvard. Thus, he and current CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer dropped out and began their journey to the top.

So, how did Gates end up with such a degree?

As per Harvard policy, all commencement speakers are awarded an honorary degree. The doctor of laws was not the first given to Gates, who has spoken at graduate ceremonies all over the world.

Although Gates also joked about Harvard living conditions and his odds with the ladies, the chairman offered serious advice to his young listeners. Moving away from his previously light tone, Gates told his audience, "I left Harvard with no real awareness of the awful inequities in the world." (Source:

Correct if I'm wrong, but is the billionaire chairman of Microsoft lamenting 'awful inequities'?

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