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Home » Bill Gates’ Commencement Speech at Harvard 2007 (Full Transcript)

Bill Gates’ Commencement Speech at Harvard 2007 (Full Transcript)

Bill Gates at Harvard Commencement Address 2007

Bill Gates is an American business magnate, investor, author, philanthropist, and humanitarian. He is best known as the principal founder of Microsoft Corporation.

Following is the full text [Verbatim transcript] and summary of Mr. Gates’ commencement speech delivered at Harvard on June 7, 2007.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here:


President Bok, former President Rudenstine, incoming President Faust, members of the Harvard corporation and the board of overseers. Members of the faculty, parents and especially the graduates.

I’ve been waiting more than 30 years to say this: “Dad, I always told you I’d come back and get my degree.”

I want to thank Harvard for this honor. I’ll be changing my job next year and it will be nice to finally have a college degree on my resume.

I applaud the graduates for taking a much more direct route to your degrees.

For my part, I’m just happy that the Crimson called me Harvard’s most successful drop out.

I guess that makes me valedictorian of my own special class. I did the best of everyone who failed.

But I also want to be recognized as the guy who got Steve Balmer to drop out of business school.

I’m a bad influence. That’s why I was invited to speak at your graduation.

If I’d spoken at your orientation, fewer of you might be here today.

Harvard was a phenomenal experience for me. Academic life was fascinating.

I used to sit in on lots of classes that I hadn’t even signed up for. And dorm life was terrific. I lived up at Radcliffe, in Courier House.

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