Last Tuesday saw Apple CEO Tim Cook receive a lifetime achievement award from his alma mater, Auburn University. Video from the New York event has surfaced on the university’s YouTube channel. (Via AllThingsD.)
Throughout his remarks, Cook highlighted his overall support for the progression of human equality in the United States and throughout the world. The CEO cited a section from the United Nations preamble emphasizing equality, and talked about finding a company in Apple that “deeply believed in advancing humanity through its products and through the equality of all of its employees.“
Cook continued, saying:
“Now, much has changed since my early days at Apple, but these values, which are the very heart of our company, remain the same. These values guide us to make our products accessible for everyone…people with disabilities often find themselves in a struggle to have their human dignity acknowledged; they’re frequently left in the shadows of technological advancements that are a source of empowerment and attainment for others. But Apple’s engineers pushed back against this unacceptable reality; they go to extraordinary lengths to make our products accessible to people with various disabilities from blindness and deafness, to various muscular disorders.”
Cook also noted his and Apple’s support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which the CEO spoke out in support of last month in an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal.
A proud Auburn alumni, Cook also got a round of cheers and applause when he smilingly warned he might ask for an extras second at the end of his speech, “Because we all know how much of a difference that can make,” referring to the Auburn football team’s last second victory over Alabama on November 30th.
Cook was a 1982 graduate of Auburn University, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering.