Former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama will both deliver virtual commencement speeches to the class of 2020 on YouTube next month, as part of the video giant’s digital “Dear Class of 2020” graduation show.
The Obamas headline a who’s who of celebrity commencement speakers that will include Lady Gaga, Condoleezza Rice and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai. The show, set to stream on YouTube on June 6 at noon Pacific time, will also include special appearances from Alicia Keys, Kerry Washington and Zendaya, among others.
“Graduation is a tradition that students and families look forward to and with the current state of the world, YouTube is lending some inspiration in the form of a virtual commencement,” YouTube’s Global Head of Content Susanne Daniels said.”We hope bringing together noteworthy, influential speakers along with performances from some of their favorite artists will provide encouragement for the students who have worked so hard to get here.”
The event comes as countless high school and college seniors won’t be able to enjoy a traditional in-person graduation, due to the coronavirus pandemic. “Dear Class of 2020” is being produced by Done + Dusted; YouTube is also working with the following organizations to highlight graduating students: Born This Way Foundation, Higher Reach, Ideas United, Malala Fund and TODAY.
YouTube isn’t the only tech giant leaning on stars for a virtual graduation ceremony. Last month,Facebook announced Oprah Winfrey would give a commencement speech as part of its May 15 sendoff to seniors, with Lil Nas X and Miley Cyrus also making appearances.