Full Transcript: Matt Damon MIT Commencement Speech June 3 2016

Matt Damon

The following is the full transcript of Matt Damon’s MIT Commencement Speech, June 3 2016.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here: Matt Damon MIT Commencement Speech June 3 2016

Matt Damon – Actor

All right. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you, President Reif. Thank you Class of 1966. That was alarming walking along and seeing 66 and then somebody saying, “Oh it’s their 50th” I almost had a heart attack. Time flies.

And mostly thank you to the Class of 2016. It is such an honor to be part of your day. It’s an honor to be here with you, with your friends, your professors and your parents. But let’s be honest this is an honor I didn’t really earn. I’m just going to put that out there. I mean, I’ve seen the list of previous commencement speakers, Nobel Prize winners, the U.N. secretary general, president of the World Bank, president of the United States — and who did you get? The guy who did the voice for a cartoon horse. If you’re wondering which cartoon horse, that’s Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, a movie some of you might have grown up watching. It’s definitely one of my best performances as a cartoon horse.

Well, look, I don’t even have a college degree. As you might have heard I went to Harvard, I just didn’t graduate from Harvard. I got pretty close but I started to get movie roles and I didn’t finish all my courses. But I put on a cap and gown and I walked with my class. My mom and dad and brother were there and everything, I just never got an actual degree. So you could say I kind of fake graduated.

So you can imagine how excited I was when President Reif called to invite me to speak at the MIT commencement. And then you can imagine how sorry I was to learn that the MIT commencement speaker does not get to go home with a degree. So yes, for the second time in my life, I am fake graduating from a college in my hometown. And my mom and my dad and my brother are here again. And this time I brought my wife and my four kids. So welcome kids to your dad’s second fake graduation. You must be so proud.

ALSO READ:   How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow (Transcript)

So as I said, my mom is here. She is a professor, so she knows the value of an MIT degree. She also knows that I couldn’t have gotten in here. I mean Harvard, you know, barely or a safety school like Yale. Look, I’m not running for any kind of office, I can say pretty much whatever I want.

No, I couldn’t have gotten in here but I did grow up here. I grew up in the neighborhood in the shadow of this imposing place. My brother Kyle and I and my friend Ben Affleck, brilliant guy, good guy never really amounted too much. We all grew up right here in Central Square, the children of this sometimes rocky marriage between this city and its great institutions.

To us, MIT was kind of like the man, this big impressive impersonal force, at least that was our provincial kneejerk teenage reaction anyway. And then Ben and I shot a movie here and one of the scenes in Good Will Hunting was based on something that actually happened to my brother Kyle. He was visiting a physicist that we knew at MIT and he was walking down the infinite corridor. He saw those blackboards that lined the halls. And so my brother who’s an artist picked up some chalk and wrote an incredibly elaborate totally fake version of an equation. And it was so cool and completely insane that no one raised it for months. This is a true story.

Pages: First |1 | ... | | Last | View Full Transcript

Scroll to Top