President Bok, former President Rudenstine, incoming President Faust, members of the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers, members of the faculty, parents, and especially, the graduates: I've been waiting more than 30 years to say this: “Dad, I always told you I’d come back and get my degree.”
尊敬的博克校长,前校长鲁登斯坦,即将上任的佛斯特校长,哈佛集团和监察理事会的各位成员。各位老师,各位家长,各位同学:有句话我憋了30年,今天终于能一吐为快了:““爸 我没骗你吧,文凭到手了!”

I want to thank Harvard for this timely honor. I’ll be changing my job next year … and it will be nice to finally have a college degree on my résumé.
我由衷地感谢哈佛这个时候给我这个荣誉。明年我要换工作(退休)。 我终于能在简历里注明自己有大学学历了。

I applaud the graduates today for taking a much more direct route to your degrees. For my part, I’m just happy that the Crimson has called me “Harvard’s most successful dropout.” I guess that makes me valedictorian of my own special class … I did the best of everyone who failed.

But I also want to be recognized as the guy who got Steve Ballmer to drop out of business school. I’m a bad influence. That’s why I was invited to speak at your graduation. If I had spoken at your orientation, fewer of you might be here today.

Harvard was just a phenomenal experience for me. Academic life was fascinating. I used to sit in on lots of classes I hadn’t even signed up for. And dorm life was terrific. I lived up at Radcliffe, in Currier House. There were always lots of people in my dorm room late at night discussing things, because everyone knew I didn’t worry about getting up in the morning. That’s how I came to be the leader of the antisocial group. We clung to each other as a way of validating our rejection of all those social people.
哈佛是我生命里的一段非凡经历。校园生活格外充实,我旁听过很多没有选过的课程。住宿的日子也很爽我当时住在拉德克利夫的柯里尔宿舍,总是很多人在我的寝室讨论到深夜。 大家知道我属于夜行动物。就这样,我成为了这堆人的头目。我们粘在一起,摆出拒绝社交的姿态。

Radcliffe was a great place to live. There were more women up there, and most of the guys were science-math types. That combination offered me the best odds, if you know what I mean. This is where I learned the sad lesson that improving your odds doesn’t guarantee success.

One of my biggest memories of Harvard came in January 1975, When I made a call from Currier House to a company in Albuquerque that had begun making the world’s first personal computers. I offered to sell them software.

I worried that they would realize I was just a student in a dorm and hang up on me. Instead they said: “We’re not quite ready, come see us in a month,” which was a good thing, because we hadn’t written the software yet. From that moment, I worked day and night on this little extra credit project that marked the end of my college education and the beginning of a remarkable journey with Microsoft.
我担心他们会因为我学生身份而挂掉电话。但他们只是说:“现在还没有准备好 请一个月后再联系我们。”我长舒一口气,压根我们就没开工。从那时起 我不分昼夜地赶工 它是我大学生活结束的标志,也是微软伟大旅程的开始。

What I remember above all about Harvard was being in the midst of so much energy and intelligence. It could be exhilarating, intimidating, sometimes even discouraging, but always challenging. It was an amazing privilege and though I left early, I was transformed by my years at Harvard, the friendships I made, and the ideas I worked on.

But taking a serious look back … I do have one big regret.

I left Harvard with no real awareness of the awful inequities in the world - the appalling disparities of health, and wealth, and opportunity that condemn millions of people to lives of despair.

I learned a lot here at Harvard about new ideas in economics and politics. I got great exposure to the advances being made in the sciences.