Tom Hanks
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 18: Actor Tom Hanks attends the People's Choice Awards 2017 at Microsoft Theater on January 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for People's Choice Awards)

Tom Hanks honors 2020 graduates with a pandemic diploma

Tom Hanks offers inspiration and a pandemic diploma for the class of 2020

By Trent Sell

All across the United States, graduation looked much different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. To celebrate the class of 2020, Tom Hanks created a pandemic diploma for all graduates. He also offered virtual speeches for two lucky graduating classes.

Pandemic diploma

Bringing some laughter into the graduating classes of 2020, Tom Hanks tweeted out a pandemic diploma for the new graduates. He captioned the post,  “To all the Grads of 2020, you Chosen Ones! Print this up on a sheepskin! Hanx.” The diploma is titled “Certificate of Graduation: Class of 2020… Distinct labors in the face of the great pandemic.”

Under a finner print that stated “Witnessed by all who see this semi-official diploma,” he signed alongside the great Albert Einstein’s signature.

Commencement speeches

Hanks made a special virtual appearance for two recent graduation commencements. The Academy award-winning actor sent an encouraging video to the 2020 graduating class of Wright State Univesity. Referring to the graduates as “the chosen ones,” he offered up words of wisdom, hope, and encouragement.

Graduates have been directly affected by the COVID-19 like no other class before. With semesters cut short, graduations moved online, and an unnerving reality as they transition into their post-grad lives, the message from Hanks was fitting.

“There is something about you, in your background, in your upbringing, in your conscious memories, in your ongoing mysteries—something that has driven you to complete your courses and achieve your selected challenges and cross the rubicon of your time there, your studies at Wright State,” Hanks said.

He referred to this pandemic as a monumental time stamp in their own lives, as life before the pandemic was much different. Tom told them, “That was before the great pandemic. Part of your lives will forever be identified as before, in the same way, other generations tell time like, well, that was before the war…”

Tom and his wife, Rita Wilson, are no stranger to the effects of the Coronavirus. Both of them tested positive for COVID-19, but have since recovered.

He also spoke to his former high school’s class of 2020 during their online commencement, Skyline Highschool. You can watch that video here.

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