Bill Gates returned to Harvard University yesterday to speak in front of this year's graduates and to finally receive his honorary degree, 33 years after dropping out to start up a little ol' company called Microsoft.

Bill Gates spoke about global poverty and disease and urged the audience to take action on these issues.

When he accepted his diploma, Gates said: "I have been waiting for 30 years to say this; Dad, I have always told you that I would be back to get my degree."

Bill Gates enrolled at Harvard in 1973 but was unsure what subject he would have as his major, and dropped out early to focus on his biggest interest, software.

Gates also spoke about how he had encouraged his fellow Harvard colleague Steve Ballmer, now CEO of Microsoft, to drop his economics studies and join him. At that time, the company still only had 50 employees.

"I'm a bad influence. That's why I was invited to speak at your graduation and not when you first started your studies," Gates told the graduates.

Gates have also received several honouraries from other universities.