Zuckerberg to get Harvard degree 12 years after dropping out

Better late than never!

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be giving the commencement address to Harvard’s class of 2017 - and receiving an honorary degree in the process.

It comes 12 years after the technology entrepreneur dropped out of his undergraduate computer science programme to fully devote his time to building the social network.

"Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership has profoundly altered the nature of social engagement worldwide. Few inventions in modern times can rival Facebook in its far-reaching impact on how people around the globe interact with one another," Harvard President Drew Faust said in a statement.

"Few individuals can rival Mark Zuckerberg in his drive to change our world through the innovative use of technology, as well as his commitment to advance science, enhance education, and expand opportunity through the pursuit of philanthropy."

Big shoes to fill

Zuckerberg is not the first big name in Silicon Valley to have dropped out and gone on to find success. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed College in Oregon before starting his company with Steve Wozniak in 1976.

Bill Gates, a fellow Harvard dropout, also left school after just two years to co-found Microsoft with Paul Allen. Coincidentally, Gates gave a commencement to Harvard 10 years ago, which Zuckerberg watched from the crowd because his future wife, Priscilla Chan, was graduating that year.

In an (awkward) video posted to his Facebook, Zuckerberg asks Gates for advice on delivering his address: