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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Gives Harvard Commencement Speech

Mark Zuckerberg gave a highly anticipated commencement speech at Harvard, where he famously dropped out.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg g
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gives the 2017 commencement address to Harvard University.YouTube

Mark Zuckerberg gave a highly anticipated commencement speech on Thursday to the graduating class of Harvard, where he famously dropped out in order to found Facebook.

The youngest commencement speaker in the university's 366-year history, Zuckerberg wore a suit and tie to address the rain-soaked crowd, telling graduates, '"We're technically in the same generation. We walked this yard less than a decade apart, studied the same ideas, and slept through the same lectures."

And he reminded the class of 2017 "You all accomplished something I didn't" — graduating from the prestigious university.

“You're graduating at a time when this is especially important," he continued. "To keep our society moving forward, we have a generational challenge — to not only create new jobs, but create a renewed sense of purpose... So what are we waiting for?"

As one of the world's richest people he also used the platform to address persistent issues of income inequality in America.

“We can all make time to give someone a hand," Zuckerberg said. "Let's give everyone the freedom to pursue their purpose — not only because it's the right thing to do, but because when more people can turn their dreams into something great, we're all better for it.”

Zuckerberg appeared genuinely excited to return to his alma mater, appearing in a promotional video along with another famous Harvard dropout, Bill Gates.

Recently, the 32-year-old CEO embarked on a series of cross-country visits as part of his annual self-improvement challenge, announced that his family foundation will be tackling social welfare issues, and even announced he's no longer an atheist. The moves have fueled speculation that he's gearing up to jump into politics.

But Zuckerberg denied that he's getting into government.

"Some of you have asked if this challenge means I'm running for public office. I'm not," he wrote in a lengthy Facebook post days before the commencement speech.

He said that his profile-raising visits across the country have simply been to "get a broader perspective" as the service tries to connect users to not just the people they already know but the "people you should know" who can "provide a new source of support and inspiration."