Former President Barack Obama & Michelle Obama will Headline Virtual Commencement

Great news for the class of 2020, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama will headline “ Dear Class of 2020”, a virtual commencement event to celebrate graduates worldwide. 

The multi-hour event premiere Saturday, June 6 on YouTube. BTS, also known as the Bangtan Boys, the South Korean boy band and Lady Gaga also are among the commencement speakers.

According to the website Deadline, Barack and Michelle Obama each will deliver inspirational commencement speeches – as well as a joint heartfelt message – to this year’s graduates who are missing graduation celebrations due to the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, Michelle Obama’s Higher Reach Initiative will host a full hour of content to kick off the celebration.

“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,” said Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Content for YouTube. “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.”

Additional commencement speakers include BTS, Lady Gaga, former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, CEO of Alphabet and Google Sundar Pichai, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Malala Yousafzai. BTS and others will perform at a virtual grad night afterparty. “Dear Class of 2020” will also include special appearances from Alicia Keys, Kelly Rowland, Kerry Washington, Chloe x Halle, Zendaya, YouTube creators Jackie Aina, AsapSCIENCE, Dude Perfect, Mr. Kate, And The Try Guys.

In “Dear Class of 2020,” people from around the world will join the class of 2020 as a singular community to celebrate their resilience, and the endless possibilities of their future. This festival-style line up combines classic commencement day themes with a diverse array of entertainment that will capture all of the emotions of graduation including pride, hope, optimism, and camaraderie.

YouTube is working in partnership with Higher Reach, Born This Way Foundation, Malala Fund, TODAY, and Ideas United to showcase incredible student stories and feature graduates around the world, including a crowd-sourced commencement speech. The special will be produced by Done + Dusted.

“Dear Class of 2020” can be streamed on the YouTube Originals channel and the Learn@Home site. The full schedule of commencement events will be available on the Learn@Home site beginning on May 17.

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