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Apple CEO Tim Cook is announced as Duke's 2018 graduation speaker at basketball game

Apple CEO Tim Cook, Fuqua ’88, will be this year’s commencement speaker.

The news was announced in a video at the men's basketball game against Pittsburgh.

Hank Tucker

Cook has led Apple since 2011 and has served on Duke’s Board of Trustees since 2015.

"Tim’s contributions to technology and his advocacy for social justice make him the perfect person to inspire the Class of 2018...Tim Cook has embodied Duke’s commitment to delivering knowledge in service to society," wrote President Vincent Price in an email to the Duke community.

An Alabama native, Cook graduated from Auburn University in 1982 with a degree in industrial engineering. In 1988, he received his MBA from Duke, where he was a Fuqua Scholar. 

Cook worked for IBM and Compaq before Steve Jobs asked him to join Apple in 1998. 

At Apple, Cook led the company’s worldwide operations division and with Jobs, helped lead the company to become one of the largest in the world. Cook eventually took over for Jobs due to his illness. 

In 2014, Cook publicly announced that he was gay, making him the first openly gay CEO in the Fortune 500.

Last year, Cook gave the commencement address for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, asking graduates “how will you serve humanity?”

Cook is not the first member of the University's Board of Trustees to present remarks at commencement. Last year, David Rubenstein, Trinity '70 and former chair of the Board of Trustees, encouraged students to make a difference in the world. In 2015, Paul Farmer, Trinity '82 and founding director of Partners in Health spoke.

This year's commencement ceremonies are May 13 at 9 a.m.