Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, who dropped out of Harvard University more than 30 years ago, received an honorary law doctorate from his old school on Thursday.
We recognize the most illustrious member of the Harvard College class of 1977 never to have graduated from Harvard, said Harvard Provost Steven Hyman. It seems high time that his alma mater hand over the diploma.
Gates was in Cambridge, Mass. to give a commencement address before the graduating class of 2007.
He and fellow dropout Paul Allen began working on Microsoft in 1975 and incorporated the company in 1981. The Redmond-Wash.-based firm went on to become the world's largest software company and one of the most recognized brands in technology. Its flagship Windows operating system is used on over 90 percent of all computers.
I'll be changing my job next year, and it will be nice to finally have a college degree on my resume, said Gates in a reference to his plan to focus his efforts on his charity.
Gates, who has committed to giving away in his lifetime most of his estimated $56 billion in wealth for philanthropic efforts, told students to consider not only themselves but the needs of others.
I hope you will judge yourselves not on your professional accomplishments alone, but also on how well you have addressed the world's deepest inequities [and] on how well you treated people a world away who have nothing in common with you but their humanity, Gates said.
Along with Gates, Harvard also gave honorary degrees to National Basketball Association great Bill Russell and former Harvard President Lawrence Summers.