Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered the commencement address at George Washington University on Sunday, telling graduates they need not make a choice between “doing good and doing well.”
Throughout his 20-minute speech Cook referenced the American civil rights movement, a universal quest for equality, chasing dreams while at the same time contributing to the greater good, and of course, Apple.
Cook implored graduates to follow their own North Star, as he says he did when joining Apple. Cook said he was adrift before joining Apple, compartmentalizing his personal and business lives as if they were incompatible.
Cook noted that his meeting Steve Jobs changed all that, as Jobs told him that through hard work with an eye on improving not only your life, but the lives of others, Apple could help change the world.
Cook, long known as a vocal supporter of equal rights, shared how his moral compass was developed as a child by growing up in Alabama during the 1970s, which was a tumultuous time for the civil rights movement in the South.
Cook told the class that the challenge ahead of them is “to find a job that pays the rent, puts food on the table and lets you do what is right, and good, and just.”
Cook also discussed Apple’s dedication to the environment, education, and equality. He wrapped up his address by taking out his iPhone, and taking a photo of the graduates, remarking, that it was “the best view in the world.”