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Mark Zuckerberg is getting an honorary Harvard degree 12 years after dropping out

Why it matters to you

You don't necessarily have to go to college to achieve success -- and people like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates prove that.

Who says you have to go to college to get a degree? After dropping out of Harvard University 12 years ago, Mark Zuckerberg has announced that he will be finally getting his college degree — an honorary degree that he will receive as part of his presentation of the commencement address to Harvard’s class of 2017.

The news was first announced through a post on Harvard’s website, however it was followed by a whimsical and completely cringe-worthy video on Zuckerberg’s Facebook page — which also starred none other than Bill Gates, who gave the commencement address at Harvard back in 2007. Incidentally, Zuckerberg attended that address — at the time, his wife Priscilla Chan was graduating.

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“Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership has profoundly altered the nature of social engagement worldwide. Few inventions in modern times can rival Facebook in its far-reaching impact on how people around the globe interact with one another,” said Harvard in its post. “And few individuals can rival Mark Zuckerberg in his drive to change our world through the innovative use of technology, as well as his commitment to advance science, enhance education, and expand opportunity through the pursuit of philanthropy.”

Zuckerberg is one of a growing line of tech billionaires to drop out of college and build something huge. Bill Gates also dropped out of Harvard back in 1975, and Apple founder Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed College in 1976.

Zuckerberg enrolled in Harvard in 2002 as a member of the class of 2006, however as mentioned he dropped out before graduation. Zuckerberg founded Facebook in 2004, after which the social media network became a cultural icon and household name. While Zuckerberg is best known as the founder of Facebook, he’s also known for his philanthropic work, which he conducts through an organization he created with his wife, called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.