COVID-19 has impacted us all in different ways, both big and small. It has robbed some young people of their last few months at school, and that includes graduation ceremonies. But now, high school and college seniors who won’t get their own ceremonies will still be able to listen to speeches from special guests. iHeartMedia has announced a new podcast series, “Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020.” It will feature addresses from big names across different fields, including Hillary Clinton, Abby Wambach, John Legend, Jimmy Fallon, and a whole lot more.
The audio company‘s new podcast (via Deadline) will launch on May 15, ahead of what would normally be graduation month. iHeart says it will “help celebrate and inspire high school and college graduates of 2020 as they look to the future.” It will feature addresses, all safely recorded from the speaker’s own homes, “from some of the most inspiring and accomplished thought leaders impacting culture today.”
“Two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA World Cup champion Abby Wambach; cosmetics icon Bobbi Brown; comedian and TV host Chelsea Handler; restaurateur and TV personality David Chang; Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon; NFL football legend Eli Manning; journalist and NPR correspondent Guy Raz; top recording artist Halsey; former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; comedian and TV host Jimmy Fallon; top recording artist John Legend; award-winning journalist Katie Couric; Grammy-nominated pop star Kesha; DJ Khaled; R&B singer and songwriter Khalid; business leader and Co-CEO of Ariel Investments Mellody Hobson; Coach Mike Krzyzewski; Dr. Oz; international recording artist and business entrepreneur Pitbull; actor Sienna Miller; General Stan McChrystal; MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle; CEO of Epic Records Sylvia Rhone and top country artist Tim McGraw…[and] iHeartRadio on air personalities and podcast hosts, including Ryan Seacrest, Enrique Santos, Angie Martinez, Bobby Bones, Jake Brennan, Angela Yee, [and] Woody.”
More speakers will be announced in the future; after more people hear about the podcast, we expect lots of other big names to volunteer to participate. All speeches will be “produced specifically for the podcast, through the iHeartPodcast Network, and are dedicated to all the graduating classes of 2020 who will miss their commencement celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” This year’s graduating class won’t have to settle for old speeches.
The podcast will be available on iHeartRadio and “everywhere podcasts are heard.” Also, every speech will be played on iHeartMedia broadcast radio stations across the country.
Will the podcast replace the feeling of taking the stage with your classmates to receive your diploma? No, but it will help the Class of 2020 know that their small sacrifice wasn’t forgotten.
Featured Image: John Legend