Source: ABC News
Former President Barack Obama will be delivering a number of commencement speeches to honor the class of 2020. Many students across the nation will not have a traditional graduation due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Obama himself will host an event for high school graduates. His wife, Michelle, will join him for a virtual commencement in June for college graduates, with a special message for HBCU students in May, ABC News reports.
“Over the past month, President and Mrs. Obama have received dozens of requests from around the globe to address graduating classes whose in-person commencement events have been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” Obama’s office said in a press release. “Today, the Obamas are pleased to announce that they will participate in multiple virtual commencement celebrations for students, families and educators.”
“Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020” will be an hourlong event airing on many of the major networks. A number of high profile guests will be present, including LeBron James, Malala Yousafzai, the Jonas Brothers, Yara Shahidi, Bad Bunny, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams, Megan Rapinoe, H.E.R. and Ben Platt, ABC News reports.
A grassroots movement to have the former president deliver an address began out of Los Angeles. High school senior Lincoln Debenham kickstarted the social media campaign.
“This means a whole lot to me. The class of 2020 as well as anybody who wants to tune in are going to hear inspiration and uplifting words from these two amazing people who my generation grew up following,” Lincoln said in a statement to ABC News. “It’s what we need right now and I’m glad Mr. and Mrs. Obama were so kind to agree to do it.”
Read the full story on the Obamas’ virtual commencement addresses from ABC News.