Three decades after he graduated, Tim Cook is heading back to Duke University.
Apple’s CEO will give the commencement address in front of thousands of graduates this spring. And no, this isn’t just another case of a university throwing down big money for a high-profile individual to talk endlessly and earn good press. Cook graduated from Duke back in 1988, earning his master’s degree in business administration.
The man behind some of the most popular products in the world is a big fan of its men’s college basketball team, too. He’s also a member of Duke’s Board of Trustees. So there’s a strong connection between the two.
Duke made the announcement during a men’s basketball game over the weekend in a fun, unique way. On the video board above the court inside Cameron Indoor Stadium, the university’s president engaged in a conversation with students about who would give the commencement address. The answer, though, was obvious because everyone was talking as an Animoji. Students wanted to know if it’s someone well-known, connected to Duke, and inspiring. Then it was Cook’s turn to reveal the news.
Here’s what he said in the video:
“Hello Duke! I’m thrilled to be joining you for commencement in May. It’s a huge day, and I couldn’t be more excited than to share it with you. Until then, go Blue Devils.”
Cook didn’t go directly from Duke to Apple by the way. After getting an undergraduate degree from Auburn University in 1982, he worked for more than a decade with IBM while studying at Duke. Then Cook joined Compaq, which was later acquired by HP, before Steve Jobs brought him to the Cupertino-based company. He rose up the ranks and was named chief executive officer in 2011.
Duke University will hold its on Sunday, May 13. The ceremony will take place at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, North Carolina.