Mark Zuckerberg is in town this week to give the commencement speech at Harvard, but before the CEO and co-founder of Facebook visited his alma mater, he and his wife Priscilla Chan stopped by her old high school, Quincy High, on Tuesday.
Chan was born in Braintree and raised in Quincy, where she graduated from Quincy High School in 2003 as valedictorian. From there, she also went on to Harvard, where she first met and started dated Zuckerberg — but unlike the scheduled commencement speaker, Chan actually graduated from the University in 2007.
She then showed up Zuck again when she went to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco. Now she’s a pediatrician and prominent philanthropist.
But even after all that higher education, it seems Chan’s high school holds a special place in her heart.
“I went back to high school today!” Chan wrote in a Facebook post. “15 years ago, I was in their very seats — nurtured in their community, challenged by classes and simultaneously nervous and excited about the future.”
Chan mentioned that her time working in the science lab, on the robotics team and playing for the tennis team were the foundations for her success in college.
“It's wonderful to see that the same teachers and programs are building passion for learning and science in students today,” she wrote. “Thank you Quincy High School for nurturing generations of students and young scientists.”
Zuckerberg also chronicled the trip in his own Facebook post, writing that the two stopped by Chan’s old high school and that “Priscilla is a legend here.”
“[She] took every science class the school offered. When she ran out of classes, she bought a textbook and created a cancer biology class herself,” he wrote. “Her old teachers talk about how she looked out for them as much as they looked out for her. Even back then, they knew she was going to take care of people.”
Chan gave some advice to the graduating seniors, Zuckerberg wrote. He noted that she was the first in her family to graduate from college and even though she excelled in high school, it still was challenging.
“Most of the seniors we met were worried about college too. Priscilla talked about how important it is to ask for help, and how even if college feels uncomfortable at first, you're not alone and it gets easier,” he wrote. “Priscilla is an amazing person. On days like today, it's great to meet lots of other people who know that too.”
Zuckerberg and Chan are next headed to Cambridge, where Zuckerberg will give the address at Harvard’s 366th Commencement on Thursday, May 25.