In thrilling news for all students who will no longer be having real-life graduations due to the global health crisis, Barack and Michelle Obama are hosting a virtual one in its place. The virtual graduation ceremony celebrating the achievements of millions of students around the world is set to be no less than a festival as it features a star-studded lineup.
“Dear Class of 2020”, as the ceremony is named, will stream live on YouTube on June 6, 3pm ET/11pm GST and will be headlined by the Obamas themselves who will each deliver individual commencement speeches and a joint message to the graduates. Besides them, Lady Gaga, BTS, Malala Yousafzai, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will also give their addresses. Special appearances will also be made by Alicia Keys, Kelly Rowland, Kerry Washington, The Try Guys, and Zendaya.
The former US president took to Twitter to make the announcement, writing, “I’ve always loved joining commencements––the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice.
“Even if we can’t get together in person this year, Michelle and I are excited to celebrate the nationwide Class of 2020 and recognise this milestone with you and your loved ones.”
The former first lady also announced her participation via Twitter as she wrote: “To the #Classof2020, I know how hard you all have worked to make it to graduation. You’ve put in long hours studying. You’ve thrown yourself into extracurricular activities and after-school jobs. And you’ve done everything you can to be there for your friends through it all.
“Some of you will be the first in your families to graduate from high school or college, making this occasion all the more special. And I know that none of you imagined you would be closing this chapter of your life through a computer or phone screen. But I still want to make sure you still get the celebration you deserve.”
I’ve always loved joining commencements––the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice. Even if we can’t get together in person this year, Michelle and I are excited to celebrate the nationwide Class of 2020 and recognize this milestone with you and your loved ones. pic.twitter.com/ngR2ykx3A2
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 5, 2020
Ahead of this virtual graduation, Barack Obama will join another remote commencement address on May 16 called ‘Graduate Together: America Honours the High School Class of 2020’. This ceremony will air on major American TV networks ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC as well as other broadcast and digital streaming partners on from 8-9pm ET/4am-5am GST. A statement released for this event said: “President Obama will congratulate the Class of 2020 on their accomplishments over the past four years – and reflect on the past two months, as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced students in every high school across the country to adjust to new ways of learning and connecting and miss out on highly anticipated rites of passage like graduation.”
Joining Obama on this event is another impressive lineup of stars including LeBron James, Malala Yousafzai, the Jonas Brothers, Yara Shahidi, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams, Megan Rapinoe, HER, Bad Bunny, Ben Platt, and more