Archbishop Desmond Tutu exhibited self-deprecating humor Friday, joking about his age to connect with a crowd of young people in Minnesota.

The 76-year-old South African cleric, speaking at the Minneapolis Convention Center, which was packed with students, other young people and teachers, told a story about how a few years back he went to a village in the Netherlands where a 400-year-old school was named after him, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

"When we arrived, a little girl came up to me and said, 'Were you here when the school started?'" the Nobel laureate and human rights activist said. "I thought I was decrepit, but I didn't realize it was so obvious.

"Oh, by the way, they have since renamed the school."

Tutu, in Minnesota for a conference linking student leaders with Nobel Peace Price-winners, encouraged the youths to find ways to contribute to society, tying it to religious faith.

"Have you noticed in a few special moments God has used young people to be God's collaborators, to be God's partner, to be God's fellow worker?" he said, relating the biblical story of David and Goliath and noting it was a last-born son, not the "big, big, big brother" who defeated the "great big champion."