Acclaimed actor Tom Hanks has been announced as the commencement speaker for the Harvard class of 2023. The university has confirmed that the 66-year-old will be the principal speaker at its 372nd Commencement, scheduled for May 25 in the Tercentenary Theater.

Hanks joins a prestigious list of recent Harvard Commencement speakers, including former Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern, director Steven Spielberg, and the late civil rights activist and U.S. Representative John Lewis. In addition to his speaking role, Hanks will also receive an honorary degree from the university.

The actor has been nominated for an Oscar six times and has won Best Actor awards for his roles in “Philadelphia” (1993) and “Forrest Gump” (1994). Among his other achievements are the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Kennedy Center Honor in 2014. In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded Hanks the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Harvard President Larry Bacow praised Hanks as a “true master of his craft” and highlighted his ability to entertain, enlighten, and befriend audiences over the past five decades. Bacow also emphasized Hanks’ innate empathy, deep understanding of the human condition, and contributions to American culture and storytelling.

Source: CBS News