Image Source: Getty / Kevork Djansezian
In addition to delivering an epic Saturday Night Live monologue and joining Michelle Obama's #VotingSquad, America's dad, Tom Hanks, has recently been instilling hope in people across the country as we all continue to adjust to life amid the coronavirus pandemic. On Saturday, the graduating class of 2020 from Wright State University, located in Dayton, OH, received an unexpected surprise from Hanks himself as he extended that hope just a little further.
"Congratulations to you chosen ones. . . . You are the chosen ones because of a fate unimagined when you began your Wright State adventures," Hanks said in a virtual commencement speech posted by the college's Twitter account. "You started in the olden times, in a world back before the Great Pandemic of 2020. You will talk of those earlier years in your lives just that way."
"You will be enlightened in ways your degree from Wright State never held in promise. You will have made it through the time of great sacrifice and great need."
Hanks then explained that this time we're living through will mark a significant turn in the lives of this year's graduating class. "Part of your lives will forever be identified as 'before,'" Hanks said. "In the same way other generations tell time like, 'That was before the war,' or, 'That was before the internet,' or, 'That was before Beyoncé.' The word 'before' is going to carry great weight with you."
Hanks went on to point out that, in addition to everything they learned in their classes, the class of 2020 would be taking with them something unprecedented yet invaluable. "You will be enlightened in ways your degree from Wright State never held in promise," he said. "You will have made it through the time of great sacrifice and great need, and no one will be more fresh to the task of restarting our measure of normalcy than you, you chosen ones." Watch Hanks's moving speech ahead.