It's an honor to be here today to address HBS's distinguished faculty, proud parents, patient guests, and most importantly, the class of 2012.
Today was supposed to be a day of unbridled celebration and I know that's no longer true.
I join all of you in grieving for your classmate Nate.
I know there are no words that makes something like this better.
Although laden with sadness, today still marks a distinct and impressive achievement for this class.
So please everyone join me in giving our warmest congratulations to this class of 2012.
When the wonderful Dean Nohria invited me to speak here today, I thought, come talk to a group of people way younger and cooler than I am?
I can do that. I do that every day at Facebook.
I like being surrounded by young people, except when they say to me, "What was it like being in college without the internet?" or worse," Sheryl, can you come here?
We need to see what old people think of this feature." It's not joking.
It's a special privilege for me to be here this month.
When I was a student here 17 years ago, I studied social marketing with Professor Kash Rangan.
One of the many examples Kash used to explain the concept of social marketing was the lack of organ donors in this country, which kills 18 people every single day.
Earlier this month, Facebook launched a tool to support organ donations, something that stems directly from Kash's work.
Kash, wherever you are here, we are all grateful for your dedication.
So It wasn't really that long ago when I was sitting where you are, but the world has changed an awful lot.
My section, section B, tried to have HBS's first online class.
We had to use an AOL chat room and dial up service.
Your parents can explain to you later what dial-up service is.
We had to pass out a list of screen names because it was unthinkable to put your real name on the internet.
And it never worked. It kept crashing and kicking all of us off.
Because the world just wasn't set up for 90 people to communicate at once online.
For a few brief moments, we glimpsed the future a future where technology would power who we are and connect us to our real colleagues, our real family, our real friends.
It used to be that in order to reach more people than you could talk to in a day, you had to be rich and famous and powerful. You had to be a celebrity, a politician, a CEO. But that's not true today.