In 2002, Mark Zuckerberg (clad in tasteful plaid pajamas) checked his email to find out whether he’d been accepted to Harvard. His dad, Edward Zuckerberg, filmed the occasion. And plotzed. The more sanguine Zuckerberg, his son, sat fairly calmly on the bed, processing what that acceptance meant.
What neither of them knew then was that Mark Zuckerberg would never earn that degree.
Mark posted the video because he’s about to go back to Harvard to give the commencement address and accept an honorary degree.
As Dan Sachs, a colleague of Zuckerberg, posted to Facebook’s CEO page, that’s a “[v]ery roundabout way to avoid Harvard’s core curriculum requirements.”
To which Zuckerberg replied, “That was definitely not my plan. Although before I went to college, my mom bet me I’d drop out and my younger sister bet me she’d finish college before me. I bet them I’d get a degree. Now I suppose the cycle is complete.”
To the extent that an honorary degree is actually a degree, I suppose he’s right, but his younger sister earned hers, whereas Zuckerberg has, basically, bought his. Mind you, it’s definitely worth giving up a Harvard degree to become the richest and most influential (not most powerful) person in the world. (Though it wouldn’t be worth giving up a Yale degree for that.)