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Old Posted Mar 22, 2007, 8:54 PM
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Bill Gates to finally get Harvard degree

Thursday, March 22, 2007 · Last updated 7:56 a.m. PT
Bill Gates to finally get Harvard degree


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Bill Gates is finally getting his Harvard degree - 32 years after he walked away from campus on the path to becoming the world's wealthiest person.

Gates, billionaire co-founder of Microsoft Corp., philanthropist and Harvard dropout, will receive an honorary degree in June when he delivers the university's 356th commencement address.

Gates is considered a member of Harvard's Class of 1977, which celebrates its 30th reunion this year. He first came to the university in 1973, but left in 1975 to devote his time to developing Microsoft, which he founded that year with childhood friend Paul Allen.

"I am very pleased that the Harvard community will have the opportunity to hear from Bill Gates on June 7," Harvard Alumni Association President Paul Finnegan said in a statement. "His contributions to the world of business and technology, and the great example he has set through his far-reaching philanthropy, will rightfully put him on center stage in Harvard Yard."

Gates helped turn Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft into the world's largest maker of computer software, with annual revenues in excess of $44 billion during the 2006 fiscal year. He was the company's chief executive until 2000 and still serves as chairman.

Gates and his wife, Melinda, created the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, which is now the world's largest philanthropic foundation with an endowment of about $33 billion.

The foundation concentrates on promoting global health, ending poverty and hunger and enhancing education. The Gates Foundation also is a major donor to Harvard.

Forbes magazine earlier this year estimated Gates' worth at $56 billion, making him the world's richest person.


On the Net:

Harvard: http://www.harvard.edu

Gates Foundation: http://www.gatesfoundation.org
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