Tom Hanks Will Deliver Harvard’s 2023 Commencement Address

The university announced that Tom Hanks will be the commencement speaker for the Harvard class of 2023.

Hanks, age 66, will be the keynote speaker at Harvard’s 372nd Commencement on May 25 at Tercentenary Theater.

Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks joins a distinguished list of recent Harvard Commencement speakers, including director and frequent Hanks collaborator Steven Spielberg, former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and John Lewis, the late civil rights activist and U.S. representative.

Hanks will also receive an honorary degree, according to the school.

Hanks has received six Academy Award nominations, winning for “Forrest Gump” in 1994 and “Philadelphia” in 1993.

His other accolades include a 2014 Kennedy Center Honor, the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, and the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2016, President Obama presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Hanks was described by Harvard President Larry Bacow as a “true master of his craft.”

“Over the course of five decades, he has amused, educated, and befriended us. He has made us laugh, cry, wonder, and ponder,” Bacow declared. Tom exhibits natural empathy and a deep understanding of the human condition in addition to his acting skills. He has added to our national culture and made it easier for us to enjoy stories and histories we didn’t know about before.