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Ahoy matey! Matt Damon is now an honorary pirate

Matt Damon spoke at MIT’s commencement Friday morning.David L. Ryan/globe staff/Globe Staff

MIT made it official: Matt Damon is an honorary pirate.

The Cambridge native, who was this year’s commencement speaker, was awarded an honorary MIT Pirate Certificate during Friday’s ceremonies, the school tweeted. He “is no longer a lily-livered landlubber,” according to the document MIT posted online.

It started as an unofficial, underground practice among students for about 20 years before becoming official in 2011. Students who complete courses in pistol, archery, sailing, and fencing — the proper activities for salty dogs — are considered pirates.

The honor adds to Damon’s special connection to the campus. He got his Hollywood break playing a genius janitor at MIT in the 1997 movie “Good Will Hunting,” which he co-wrote with longtime pal and fellow A-lister Ben Affleck.


Material from the Globe archives was used in this report. Nicole Hernandez can be reached at nicole.hernandez@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @NRHSJax.