June 8, 2023


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Tim Cook’s commencement speech to Gallaudet graduates (full text)

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CookThis past Friday, Apple CEO Tim Cook was the commencement speaker at the graduation ceremony for Gallaudet College, a university for deaf and really hard-of-hearing learners located in Washington, D.C.  As Lauren Lumpkin of the Washington Article experiences, Apple has been working with Gallaudet for the final number of yrs.  For instance, two decades ago, each individual student and college member been given an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil.

I have not still seen any individual publish the whole textual content of Cook’s speech.  So a lot like I did when Tim Cook spoke at Tulane University a few a long time in the past, I am sharing the total textual content listed here, with a several annotations, so that you can read through his phrases even if you never have time to observe the movie

This speech failed to include the humor that Cook employed when he tackled Tulane, particularly in the beginning of that speech when Cook referenced a famous university bar by name and talked about his trips to New Orleans when he was at Auburn to get “beignets and beer.”  But he did point out local climate alter once more, which was a greater theme in his Tulane handle.  Immediately after quoting Franklin Roosevelt to Tulane, he quoted Elanor Roosevelt to Gallaudet.  I personally loved the Tulane handle even far more, but I know that may well in component for the reason that I relished listening to Cook dinner communicate about New Orleans (where I are living).

Without having further ado, consider it away, Tim…

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I am so honored to share this momentous event with all of you.  Thank you to President Cordano, the Board of Trustees, the students, school, and staff, and all the very pleased people and mates in the audience for welcoming me nowadays.  I want to congratulate Dorothy [Dorothy Sueoka Casterline], Carl [Carl-Gusaf A. O. Croneberg], and Lauren [Lauren Ridloff] on your honorary degrees.  Only one particular of you performed a superhero on the major monitor [Lauren Ridloff in the movie Eternals], but all a few of you have set heroic illustrations as trailblazers and advocates for the deaf community.  And thank you, of system, to Molly for the strong text that you shared with us now.  [Molly Feanny was the class speaker who invited Tim Cook to speak at graduation, as she explained in this article.]

Marlee [Marlee Matlin], I are unable to thank you adequate for that generous introduction.  As you know, Marlee is a brilliant performer.  One particular who has used her job breaking limitations and described anticipations.  But when Marlee’s expertise shined by means of on-display, she is just spectacular off-monitor.  As a particular person, as a chief, and as an advocate, Marlee brings the identical integrity and grace to every little thing she does.  And we at Apple had been so blessed to collaborate with her on CODA

Ultimately, I want to say how grateful I am for the partnership that Apple and Gallaudet have constructed in new decades.  As Apple performs to style technologies that is obtainable to all, we are extremely lucky to have these innovative and fully commited partners.  It is many thanks in portion to this local community that Apple Maps now has a sequence of guides that aid customers detect deaf-owned and deaf-pleasant firms.  And we look ahead to constructing on our partnership for a lot of more years to arrive.

Course of 2022, you made it to this day, to this moment, to this achievement, which was never assured.  Every single graduating class confronts troubles, but I believe it is truthful to say that you confronted increased obstacles than most.  Immediately after all, you were only in the Spring semester of 2020, a time when numerous of you had been just hitting your stride, when the pandemic turned the globe upside-down.  For some of you, that meant leaving guiding a campus in which you have discovered a deep feeling of group and acceptance, probably for the 1st time in your life.  For other people, it meant remaining in D.C. without the need of the close friends and classmates you have arrive to assume of as family.  For all of you, nevertheless, it intended navigating a strange and unsure world.  It meant conquering a entire new set of obstacles that tried out to reduce you from currently being below these days.  But people obstacles, they could not halt you.  You are right here now for a motive.  You earned this.  And no 1 can at any time choose that away from you.

The topic you chose for present-day ceremony is perseverance, which is a fitting description for the tenacity that daily life has demanded of you and for the grit and grace you’ve got summoned to seize your future.  Gallaudet has well prepared you for a life span of discovery.  There is so a lot you acquired even though you were being listed here.  More perhaps than you comprehend.  Some of it took place in libraries and lecture halls.  Some through dorm space conversations that stretched till dawn.  And in the conclusion, what you attained in this article is extra than a diploma.  It is much more than a official instruction.  It is expertise and insight and wisdom.

The questions you are grappling with now are not so distinct than the concerns that encourage much of the world—especially at this minute in our record.  For many, the pandemic upended not just the way we stay our lives but the way we consider about the lives we’re living.  Individuals are significantly inquiring significant inquiries of by themselves.  What do I definitely want to do with my life?  How do I truly want to be?  At the heart of it, I believe, is one of humanity’s most necessary thoughts: what does it get to construct the lifetime that gives that means and fulfillment?  And the detail about it is that no one particular can response that problem for you.  And that incorporates me.  You will find no Apple iphone element that can arrive to the rescue.  AI is great, but it is not that fantastic.

Still, I have a person important piece of guidance I want to share—so essential that it’s the only piece of tips I am going to share right now.  And that is this: whatever you do, direct with your values.  By leading with your values, what I suggest is that you should make decisions, huge and little, each and every single day, based mostly on a deep knowing of who you are and what you consider.  These are not static matters, and you would not want them to be.  You will learn much more and mature much more with just about every passing year as all of us do.  But there are foundational values that are bedrock.  Factors that are main to your persona and your character.  And these are the issues you should decide on to stay by. 

At Gallaudet, you have been given a globe-course training.  I hope you have used this time to consider deeply and brazenly about the entire world close to you.  To identify what you think and why you believe that it.  What matters now is that you enable all those suggestions information you.  That you let your values direct you.  This is how you create the lifestyle of that means and success. 

For me, it was a feeling of indicating that drew me to Apple in the to start with spot.  As a enterprise, our purpose has often been to build engineering that enriches people’s life.  And we consider we can only attain that goal as a result of a relentless emphasis on our values.  That’s why we get the job done challenging to make technological innovation that is accessible to all people.  Why we struggle to protect the fundamental right to privateness.  And why we are constantly innovating to shield the atmosphere and leave the world much better than we observed it.

My values have also served me persevere as a result of the difficult selections in both of those my skilled and personalized everyday living.  When people questioned the monetary wisdom of our determination to sustainability, I spoke my values when I produced it crystal clear that combating climate change is, and will remain, one particular of our most vital plans.  And in my have daily life, it was my values that identified as me to tell the globe I am gay so that I could possibly carry a measure of hope to individuals even now hiding who they are from the earth.  Put basically, my values are the driving pressure driving almost everything I do.  And they are at the coronary heart of every single decision I make.

Now, I realize that leading a organization and main a great existence are not the identical detail.  But I know in my coronary heart that being real to who you are and what you imagine is one particular of the most essential options you can make.  It will aid you sort much better associations.  It will help you find far more pleasure in your perform.  And, with a very little luck, and a good deal of effort and hard work, it will assist you create a more significant lifestyle.

Of program, sometimes the most meaningful existence is the a person which is the very least anticipated.  If I have uncovered something, it can be that the long run is unpredictable, even as we put our very best endeavours into shaping it.  And which is all right.  As Elanor Roosevelt wrote, if lifestyle were predictable, it would stop to be daily life and be without taste.

And so when you envision your long term, and the winding path that is laid out just before you, don’t forget that the problem you should really check with is not “What will materialize?” but “Who will I be when it does?”  I hope you will be form and compassionate.  I hope you will see there is wonder in being component of anything even larger than yourself and magic to be uncovered in the service of other folks.  I hope you will be fantastic stewards of the planet we inhabit and members in the combat to make it greater, far more equal, extra available, much more just.  I hope you will hold tightly to the community you’ve designed listed here due to the fact what ever lifetime provides, your results will be sweetened and your setbacks softened if you can share them jointly.  Most of all, I hope you will discover contentment and joy, indicating and success, and a lifetime that provides to you all that you request of it. 

Class of 2022, this is your instant.  And I, for one, can not wait around to see what you do.  Thank you so significantly, and congratulations!


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