LARRY ELLISON GRADUATION SPEECH
NOTE: This is probably an urban
legend, but it's still funny and still has a ring of truth. Allegedly,
what follows is a transcript of the speech delivered by Oracle CEO
Larry Ellison at Yale University:
"Graduates of Yale University, I apologize if you have endured
this type of prologue before, but I want you to do something for me.
Please, take a good look around you. Look at the classmate on your
left. Look at the classmate on your right. Now, consider this: five
years from now, 10 years from now, even 30 thirty years from now,
odds are the person on your left is going to be a loser. The person
on your right, meanwhile, will also be a loser. And you, in the middle?
What can you expect? Loser. Loserhood. Loser Cum Laude. In fact, as
I look out before me today, I don't see a thousand hopes for a bright
tomorrow. I don't see a thousand future leaders in a thousand industries.
I see a thousand losers.
You're upset. That's understandable. After all, how can I, Lawrence
"Larry" Ellison, college dropout,have the audacity to spout
to the graduating class of one of the nation's most prestigious
institutions? I'll tell you why. Because I, Lawrence "Larry"
second richest man on the planet, am a college dropout, and you are
Because Bill Gates, richest man on the planet-for now anyway-is a
college dropout, and you are not. Because Paul Allen, the third richest
man on the planet, dropped out of college, and you did not. And for
good measure, because Michael Dell, No. 9 on the list and moving up
fast, is a college dropout, and you, yet again, are not.
Hmm ... you're very upset. That's understandable. So let me stroke
egos for a moment by pointing out, quite sincerely, that your diplomas
were not attained in vain. Most of you, I imagine, have spent four
five years here, and in many ways what you've learned and endured
serve you well in the years ahead. You've established good work habits.
You've established a network of people that will help you down the
And you've established what will be lifelong relationships with the
"therapy." All that of is good. For in truth, you will need
network. You will need those strong work habits. You will need that
therapy. You will need them because you didn't drop out, and so you
never be among the richest people in the world. Oh sure, you may,
perhaps, work your way up to #10 or #11, like Steve Ballmer. But then,
don't have to tell you who he really works for, do I? And for the
record, he dropped out of grad school. Bit of a late bloomer.
Finally, I realize that many of you, and hopefully by now most of
are wondering, "Is there anything I can do? Is there any hope
for me at
all?" Actually, no. It's too late. You've absorbed too much,
know too much. You're not 19 anymore. You have a built-in cap, and
not referring to the mortarboards on your heads.
Hmm... you're really very upset. That's understandable. So perhaps
would be a good time to bring up the silver lining. Not for you, Class
of '00. You are a write-off, so I'll let you slink off to your pathetic
$200,000-a-year jobs, where your checks will be signed by former
classmates who dropped out two years ago. Instead, I want to give
to any underclassmen here today. I say to you, and I can't stress
enough: leave. Pack your things and your ideas and don't come back.
Drop out. Start up. For I can tell you that a cap and gown will keep
you down just as surely as these security guards dragging me off this
stage are keeping me dow..." (At this point The Oracle CEO was