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Tom Hanks provided a few kind words on Saturday when he delivered an inspiring commencement speech for the Class of 2020 at Ohio's Wright State University Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Picture.
The Academy Award-winning actor, who spoke to the graduating students virtually, called them "the chosen ones."
"I am calling you 'chosen ones' because you have been chosen in many ways. First, by the temperament and discipline, you've lived by. By the creative fires that are inside of you. And the instinctive lunges of your desires," Hanks continued.
The 63-year-old added, "You succeeded because of the aid and the love of others that are in your lives, without a doubt. But you have succeeded mostly because you and you alone chose to do so. You are the chosen ones."
Hanks joked that the seniors started college back in the "olden times" aka a time before the coronavirus pandemic.
"You will talk about your lives just that way: 'Well, that was back before the COVID-19. That was before the great pandemic,'' Hanks suggested."
"Part of your lives will forever be identified as 'before' in the same way other generations tell time like, 'Well, that was before the war,' or 'That was before the Internet,' or 'That was before Beyoncé.' The word 'before' is going to carry great weight with you," he continued.
Hanks reassured the class that there will also be an "after" and although the nation is uncertain of its future now, we must persevere.
"You will have made it through a time of great sacrifice and great need and no one will be more fresh to the task of restarting our measure of normalcy than you, you chosen ones," he said.
"The future is always uncertain, but we who celebrate what you have done, who celebrate all of your achievements, we are certain of one thing on this day: You will not let us down," Hanks promised.
The university holds a special place in the "Forrest Gump" star's life as it named a new building after him in 2016: The Tom Hanks Center for Motion Pictures.
The entertainer and his wife, Rita Wilson, survived COVID-19 after they were diagnosed with the virus in March while filming his next movie in Australia.
After a short hospitalization and many weeks of isolation, he and Wilson returned to Los Angeles and have been doing well during their recovery process.
In an effort to help find a vaccine, the couple donated blood plasma in April.
Here’s last week’s bag of plasma. Such a bag!” he wrote on Instagram. “After the paperwork, it’s as easy as taking a nap. Thanks @arimoin and UCLA. Hanx.”