Stanford University has named Apple CEO Tim Cook as its 2019 commencement speaker.
That’s according to a press release from the university, which explains that Tim Cook is slated to speak at Stanford’s 128th Commencement on June 16, 2019, fourteen years after the late Steve Jobs discussed his battle with cancer at the university’s 2005 Commencement address
“Tim Cook has spoken forcefully of the challenges and responsibilities confronting corporations and our society today,” said Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne. “In tackling these, he has led with vision and values — qualities that reflect the culture of our Stanford community, and that are top-of-mind for our students and our country.”
In his own statement, Cook made reference to the close connection that Apple and Stanford have enjoyed over the years, as many Apple employees have passed through Stanford over the years. Steve Jobs also enjoyed visiting the campus, which is around a fifteen-minute drive from Cupertino.
“We share so much more than geography,” Cook said. “The passion, interests, and creativity of our institutions have in common have helped to revolutionize technology and reshape the world, and I can’t wait to join graduates, as well as their family and friends, in celebrating the even brighter possibilities of the future.”
Stanford Senior Class Presidents Tashrima Hossain, Nick Peña, Tony Moller and Aron Tesfai told Stanford News they “are excited and humbled” that Cook will speak at Commencement.
“As a pioneer of Silicon Valley, his life is devoted to issues deeply intertwined with the Stanford community,” the students said. “Not only has he molded the course of Apple, but Tim is also an avid advocate for ethics and privacy in the future of tech. Combined with his powerful advocacy for LGBTQ+ issues worldwide and socially conscious entrepreneurial spirit, his mission strongly aligns with that of our University.”
Cook, the university noted, was named to Fortune’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders list last year. He has also been named Person of the Year by the Financial Times and honoured with Newseum’s Free Speech Award for using his position to take a public stand on important societal issues. In April 2018, observing the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference presented Cook with its Keeper of the Dream Award for Human Rights, according to the university.
Cook follows a string of notable Stanford commencement speakers including Steve Jobs, Kofi Annan, and Oprah Winfrey.