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Tom Hanks Delivered An Inspiring Surprise Speech To Graduating Students

Even though everything’s been locked down for a month-and-a-half, we’ve been seeing a lot of celebrities during the quarantine. Tom Hanks has been particularly ubiquitous. He and his wife Rita Wilson were among the first famous people who tested positive for Covid-19, and after recovering he’s made appearances on SNL At Home and done virtual chat shows, in which he’s opened up about his difficulties battling the virus. Now he’s gone and surprised a class of graduating collegiate with an inspiring speech.

As per Entertainment Weekly, the two-time Oscar-winner surprised the graduating class of Wright State University in Ohio, who, like many students, have had to finish their semester remotely. That includes their commencement, but at the very least they received a message from one of the country’s most popular entertainers, who was honored there in 2016 by having a school named after him, namely The Tom Hanks Center for Motion Pictures.

“You are the chosen ones because of a fate unimagined when you began your Wright State adventures,” Hanks told the class. “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 in just that way.”

He continued: “Part of your lives will forever be identified as ‘before’ … 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 called this era “the great reboot,” adding, “You’ll reference these past weeks for how many other weeks there are yet to come as ‘during the pandemic.’ ‘During the COVID-19, during the lockdown, the quarantine, during the shelter-in-place.”

Throughout he tried to stay positive. “You will be enlightened in ways your degree from Wright State never held in promise,” he told them. “You will have made it through a time of great sacrifice and great need. And no one will be more fresh to the task of restarting our normalcy than you — our chosen ones.”

You can watch Hanks’ full speech in the tweet embed above.

(Via EW)