Student News

Obamas, A-List Celebrities to Host Virtual Graduation 2020

Big names come together to give the Class of 2020 an epic graduation ceremony.

Kathryn Knight Randolph

May 13, 2020

Obamas, A-List Celebrities to Host Virtual Graduation 2020
High school seniors, college seniors, and master’s and professional degree graduates, our hearts go out to you. This has very likely been the most difficult year of your academic career. Once the true impact of the Coronavirus outbreak was felt, high schools and university campuses alike shuttered their doors in the hopes of keeping as many of their students safe as possible. Though it was the right thing to do, it also meant giving up a lot of the traditions that mark a seniors’ final year in school: prom, skip day, the last night at your favorite local hangout with close friends, and so much more. As the world has been turned upside down, many students will also have to live with a lack of memories or the chance to say goodbye to friends, mentors, and teachers and professors. Looking for more COVID-19 student-impact information? Find it here. However, many have rallied around the Class of 2020 with messages of encouragement and accomplishment. Schools have surprised students with yard signs congratulating them on their achievements. High schools across the country and celebrities, like John Krasinski, have hosted virtual proms. Virtual spirit weeks and social distance car parades have been held to honor seniors. But what about graduation, which is undoubtedly the biggest, most important event of senior year? Fortunately, celebrities are teaming up to give seniors across the country the most epic ceremony ever.

YouTube Announces Virtual Graduation Event, Obamas Headline

A few days ago, YouTube announced that it would be holding a virtual commencement on June 6, 2020, and we can guarantee that their guest speakers are better than anyone you would have had at your local graduation ceremony (no offense). Former President Barack Obama and Former First Lady Michelle Obama will both be delivering the commencement address during YouTube’s Dear Class of 2020 event. They will also be joined by BTS, Lady Gaga, Secretary Robert M. Gates, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Malala Yousafzai. But the party doesn’t end there. The event will also host special appearances by Alicia Keys, Chole x Halle, Kelly Rowland, Kerry Washington, Zendaya, Dude Perfect, and more. Students interested in attending can check out the official page here, as well as set a reminder for the event for when it goes live. It will kickoff at 3 pm EST/12 pm PST. Although it does sound as if it will be just as long as your typical graduation ceremony, we can guarantee that it will be a bit more exciting hearing from these well-known world-changers.

#Graduation2020 from Facebook and Instagram to Feature Oprah and More

On May 15, 2020, Facebook and Instagram will be hosting a virtual commencement to Celebrate the Class of 2020, whether you’re attending for your high school graduation or college graduation. Speakers for the event will include Oprah Winfrey, Awkwafina, Jennifer Garner, Lil Nas X, Simone Biles, and more. Miley Cyrus will also perform her hit song, “The Climb.” According to Facebook, “the ceremony will acknowledge high schools and colleges in the U.S. by name, state by state, including photos and videos of the class of 2020 and messages from deans and principals across the country.” Along with the main event, Facebook is helping graduates organize their own virtual graduation party, with special features like a graduation hub, custom filters, as well as family and friends’ celebrations on Messenger. On May 11, Instagram will have daily programming to celebrate the senior experience. Graduates will be able to interact with “most likely” votes, portrait showcases, and senior skip day. Users will also be able to customize their Instagram stories with a graduation countdown widget, celebratory sticker pack, new AR effects, and an exclusive hashtag page for #Graduation2020. Finally, Facebook and Instagram will launch a graduation theme for Music Stickers with graduation songs that help to capture the special memories from this unusual time and experience.

Other Ways to Celebrate Your Graduation Ceremony

In addition to these large-scale, star-studded events, you can celebrate your high school graduation or college graduation ceremony in a few other ways. Like these nationwide virtual commencements, many high schools and colleges across the country are hosting virtual graduation ceremonies for their students. Although it’s not the same as walking across the stage at your school, the sentiment is still there. Make it a point to attend, and give yourself a little pat on the back from your living room couch. Much like the prom experience that students had at their own homes, you can host a mock ceremony at your house. Ask one of your parents to give a short commencement speech while the other hands you your diploma. Your siblings can cheer as you walk the stage and transform from a student to a graduate. Finally, enjoy a special day with your family. Go hiking in a state or local park (if they’re open), take a picnic lunch or dinner outside, or mention to your parents that a car parade would be a really fun way to celebrate with family and friends while respecting social distancing guidelines. Want more ideas? Check out some of our fun, creative graduation party ideas here. However you decide to celebrate, make it big, make it special, make it all about you. Not only have you dedicated years to this very goal, you’ve crossed the finished line during an unprecedented global event. That in itself deserves a pat on the back, a star-studded celebration, and a car parade. If not much more. Congratulations to the Class of 2020; we can’t wait to see what you all do next!