Parents and teachers can finally breathe a sigh of relief. They don’t have to contend with their teenagers’ argument any more that you don’t need a university qualification to be the richest man in the world. Bill Gates finally got an honorary law doctorate degree from Harvard University. ‘We recognise the mot illustrious member of the Harvard College class of 1977 never to have graduated from Harvard,’ said Harvard University Provost Steven Hyman. Gates happily settled a bit of unfinished business at the alma mater where he famously dropped out thirty years ago.
The world’s youngest self-made billionaire left university to start Microsoft with childhood friend Paul Allen in 1975. They were joined by Steve Ballmer, a Harvard graduate and Gates’ former hall mate, in 1980. The Microsoft partners negotiated a visionary agreement with International Business Machines Corp to license its operating system to other computer manufacturers. Today, there are hundreds of computer manufacturing companies but almost 90 percent of these companies use Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Microsoft was publicly listed in 1986 and the company’s share prices soared sky-high in 1987.

Gates will step down totally from his management role in Microsoft in 2008 to concentrate on charity work. The lack of a university degree did not hamper his financial success or his emotional and psychological development. His wealth did not become an excuse for an immoderate lifestyle or excessive luxury. He is hardly in the news, and he does not binge on sex, drugs, or alcohol. He dedicates the next part of his life to charity or philanthropy work. Bill Gates is a man deserving of respect not only for his billions. The person who retires early, shares his successes with friends and workers, and who lives a healthy, moderate and happy life giving to others is obviously not cool, sexy or exciting. But he is definitely one in a billion.