Like his longtime BFF Ben Affleck, Matt Damon is one of Boston’s own. After writing and starring in Good Will Hunting, Damon cemented himself into the Boston mythos, and recently returned to the scene of Will Hunting’s genius, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. On Friday, Damon gave MIT’s graduation speech, and the Cambridge native was passionate and eloquent, taking on everything from corrupt banking systems to Donald Trump.
While addressing the latest crop of graduates, Damon opened up about his time at the university as a not-quite-student while making Good Will Hunting and how his experience on campus changed his perspective on the establishment (Damon, it’s worth noting, dropped out of Harvard’s English program 12 credits shy of a diploma).
“You can imagine how excited I was when President Reif wanted me to speak at the MIT commencement, and how sorry I was to learn that the MIT commencement speaker does not get to go home with a degree. So, yes, for the second time in my life, I’m fake graduating from a college in my hometown.”
“To us, MIT was kind of like ‘The Man,’ this big, impressive, impersonal force. At least, that was our provincial, knee-jerk teenage reaction. And then Ben and I shot a movie here.”
His ultimate message was one of continued learning, encouraging all present to remain curious despite the apparent end of their education.
“Your education should never be over, even outside of your work… I hope you’ll turn toward the problem of your choosing. And I hope you’ll drop everything, and I hope you’ll solve it. This is your life, class of 2016. This your moment. It is all down to you. Ready, player one; your game begins now.”
If you’re looking for a little inspiration on a Friday night, the entire speech is worth a gander. Jason Bourne knows how to inspire. Missed opportunity for a solid reference to The Martian, though.