Tom Hanks gives Harvard commencement speech, tells grads to defend truth: 'The responsibility is yours'
May 26, 2023 at 06:22
Actor Tom Hanks was the principal speaker at Harvard University’s commencement on Thursday, where he urged more than 9,000 members of the Class of 2023 to fight for truth and to stand up to those who oppose it.
Speaking to the school’s newest graduates at Harvard Yard’s Tercentenary Theatre, Hanks said society has changed the way it views truth and claimed some people no longer see its value.
He added: "Only the first do the work of creating a more perfect union."
And we could use a superhero right now," Hanks said, the Harvard Gazette reported.
Hanks said the fight over truth was "not fair" but encouraged the graduates not to "be embittered by this fact."
But the work that is called for is the construction of our ‘more perfect union,’" he said, per the Gazette.
"That job will never, ever be completed, one that requires rigorous attention and unfading wherewithal and all hands.
Hanks, who received an honorary arts doctorate from the school, also said some people in public office use truth as a malleable medium.
It's no longer based on data, nor common sense, nor even common decency," the iconic actor said.
"Telling the truth is no longer the benchmark for public service.
But the truth, the truth is sacred.
On a lighter note, the actor referenced the Bible ending his speech, "May goodness and mercy follow you all the days.