Could you believe this? The world’s richest man, the founder and owner of the richest company in the world, was once a college dropout?
Yes, it’s true. Fortunately, after more than 30 years of wearing the “college dropout” sticker on his forehead, Microsoft Corp’s Bill Gates has finally got himself a college degree last Thursday when he collected his honorary law degree.
Microsoft’s big boss Bill Gates beams after receiving his law diploma from Harvard College.
“We recognize the most illustrious member of the Harvard College class of 1977 never to have graduated from Harvard,” said Harvard University Provost Steven Hyman. “It seems high time that his alma mater hand over the diploma.”
“I’ve been waiting for more than 30 years to say this, Dad, I always told you I’d come back and get my degree,” Gates, 51, told the crowd, which included his father, also named Bill.
“I’ll be changing my job next year, and it will be nice to finally have a college degree on my résumé,” said Gates in a reference to his plan to shift full-time into philanthropy.
The lack of a degree didn’t slow Gates’ rise to the top echelons of business.
In 1980, Gates and his colleagues at Microsoft were canny enough to negotiate an agreement with International Business Machines Corp. that gave the start-up software company the right to license its operating system for a new generation of personal computers to other manufacturers.
That arrangement ultimately turned the computer business on its ear, shifting power from hardware manufacturers to software programmers. Today, hundreds of companies manufacture hundreds of thousands of brand-name personal computers each year, but more than 90 percent of those machines use Microsoft’s Windows operating system.