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Apple CEO Tim Cook accepts invite to deliver Gallaudet University address

Apple CEO Tim Cook has agreed to deliver the commencement address at Gallaudet University, an educational institution that specializes in teaching deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing students.

Publicly confirmed via a brief Twitter exchange on Saturday, Gallaudet University shared a video featuring undergraduate student speaker Molly Feanny, inviting Cook to speak at the university's 152nd Commencement on May 13.

Lasting just over a minute, the invitation has Feanny using American Sign Language accompanied by subtitles and a voiceover. Feanny refers to Cook as "an amazing visionary and leader," and that the university "would be honored to have you come and speak to us here."

It is mentioned that the event will be the first planned in-person graduation ceremony since COVID at Gallaudet, which is also an Apple Campus. The critically-acclaimed Apple TV+ film CODA is also raised, along with the company's support for the university's deaf community.

In response to the invite, Cook tweets "I'd be honored! See you there!" Not long after, CODA cast member Marlee Matlin tweeted "I am so excited, Tim! For you and the students of #Gallaudet."

Following the Twitter exchange, a formal press release was issued by Gallaudet, which has university president Roberta J. Cordano heaping praise on Cook.

"Tim is a remarkable visionary, truly one of the great CEOs of our time who, without question, will leave a lasting imprint for generations to come," states Cordano. "As the leader of one of the most admired brands in the world, Tim has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to diversity, inclusion, representation and accessibility - values that matter deeply to our Gallaudet community and so many other underrepresented groups."

Cook has previously given commencement speeches to students, including one virtual commencement in 2020 to Ohio State University.