May 4, 2020 - Technology

Tim Cook's advice to 2020 college grads

Ina Fried, author of Login

Tim Cook, remotely delivering the 2020 Ohio State University commencement. Photo: Apple

Tim Cook offered an uplifting take on the current crisis Sunday as he delivered a commencement address, virtually, to this year's graduating class at the Ohio State University.

The big picture: Graduating from college is often an uncertain time, but all the more so in the coronavirus era.

What he's saying: Cook began his talk by pointing to some of the notable people whose careers were launched amid the 1918 flu pandemic:

  • Amelia Earhart, who started watching planes while in a hospital recovering from the flu, which she contracted as a nurse.
  • A 36-year-old Franklin Roosevelt was assistant secretary of the Navy and headed overseas to make sure U.S. sailors were prepared for World War I. He had to be carried off a military ship on a stretcher, but after recovering became the vice presidential nominee.
  • Writing from his sickbed, T.S. Eliot began "The Waste Land," which opens with the line "April is the cruelest month" and went on to win the Nobel Prize for literature.
"It can be difficult to see the whole picture when you’re still inside the frame, but I hope you wear these uncommon circumstances as a badge of honor."
— Tim Cook

Cook also encouraged the graduates to think not just about how the pandemic is affecting those close to them, but also those who may be even more distant, from hospital orderlies to undocumented farm workers.

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