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Barack and Michelle Obama Headline Virtual Graduation Events

May and June are usually special months for high school seniors. Their time in grade school is winding to an end as they play their final sports games, plan senior pranks, and spend those last few weeks with their friends before the graduation that they have waited for their entire lives. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is taking away those precious moments for millions of graduating seniors. According to Deadline, XQ Institute, The LeBron James Family Foundation, and The Entertainment Industry Foundation are joining forces to virtually celebrate high school seniors with Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020.

barack and michelle sit side by side

The Obama Foundation

Former President Barack Obama will deliver the famous commencement speech for millions of seniors looking for hope and inspiration during this transitional time in their lives. Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020 will air on May 16 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and 7 p.m. CT across several prime-time TV networks, including CBS, Fox, NBC, and ABC as well as other digital streaming services. The commencement will also include LeBron James, the Jonas Brothers, Yara Shahidi, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams, H.E.R., and others.

Barack and Michelle Obama are teaming up with Reach Higher and YouTube Originals for Dear Class of 2020 on June 6 at 3PM ET. This live celebration is for all graduating seniors and lists the Obamas, BTS, and Lady Gaga among the commencement speakers. The event will also feature appearances by Alicia Keys, Kerry Washington, Chloe x Halle, Zendaya, and more.

There have been a lot of efforts to ease the pain of cancelled graduation ceremonies, including iHeart Radio’s commencement speech podcast series. A virtual graduation may not be the same as walking across the stage. But it will certainly be a memorable way to look back on their unconventional senior year.

Header Image: The Obama Foundation