Barack and Michelle Obama will host 3 virtual graduation events for the class of 2020

Barack and Michelle Obama are hosting three virtual graduation events to celebrate the millions of students in the class of 2020 who had their commencements canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement comes weeks after a high school senior in Los Angeles sent out a viral tweet asking Obama to give a speech to graduating…


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  • Barack and Michelle Obama are hosting three virtual graduation events to celebrate the millions of students in the class of 2020 who had their commencements canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • The announcement comes weeks after a high school senior in Los Angeles sent out a viral tweet asking Obama to give a speech to graduating seniors. 
  • Two events on May 16 will celebrate historically black colleges and university graduates and high school graduates.
  • On June 6, the Obamas in partnership with YouTube will host a star-studded celebration featuring BTS, Lady Gaga, Apple CEO Sundar Pichai, Malala Yousafzai, Alicia Keys, and more. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Barack and Michelle Obama are hosting three virtual graduation events to celebrate the millions of students in the class of 2020 who had their commencements canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The announcement comes weeks after a high school senior in Los Angeles named Lincoln Debenham sent out a now-viral tweet asking Obama to give a speech to graduating seniors. 

“Like most high school/college seniors, I’m saddened by the loss of milestone events, prom & graduation. In an unprecedented time, it would give us great comfort to hear your voice. We ask you to consider giving a national commencement speech to the class of 2020,” Debenham wrote. 

The tweet quickly gained thousands of retweets and made #ObamaCommencement a top trending topic on the site. And now, Obama will host not one, but three separate events for 2020 graduates in May and June.



—Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 5, 2020

The first two events, on May 16, will celebrate graduates of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and high school students in collaboration with the Lebron James Family Foundation. 

Then on June 6, both Barack and Michelle Obama, in addition to a star-studded cast of other prominent political figures and celebrities, will give speeches and performances to the entire class of 2020 in a virtual event hosted in partnership with YouTube.

According to a Tuesday announcement from YouTube, the following people will give speeches:

  • Barack and Michelle Obama
  • Popular K-pop band BTS
  • Lady Gaga
  • Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates 
  • Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai 
  • Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
  • Malala Yousafzai 

The event will also feature appearances and performances from Kelly Rowland, Kerry Washington, Alicia Keys, Zendaya, Chloe x Halle, and prominent YouTubers including Jackie Aina, Mr. Kate, Dude Perfect, and the Try Guys.

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