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Barack and Michelle Obama Will Give Virtual Commencement Speeches on YouTube

“As Elle Woods once said…” Photo: Jason Szenes/EPA/Shutterstock/Jason Szenes/EPA/Shutterstock

The Parent Teacher Association over at YouTube High got wind that Facebook Prep booked Oprah Winfrey and Miley Cyrus for their virtual commencement ceremony, and not ones to let a collegiate rivalry lie, YouTube has announced their own virtual commencement ceremony featuring speeches from President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Condoleezza Rice, and Malala Yousafzai. With the global graduating class of 2020 unable to gather for in-person celebrations due to the coronavirus pandemic, celebrities are stepping up to the plate on digital platforms. The virtual commencement ceremony, which is called “Dear Class of 2020,” will premiere on Saturday, June 6, and it “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.” BTS will then headline the “virtual grad night afterparty.” You don’t even have to be a grad to tune in. “Dear Class of 2020” will also feature appearances by Alicia Keys, Kerry Washington, Zendaya, Jackie Aina, and the Try Guys. That’ll show those wannabes over at Facebook.

Obama’s going to have to write a whole stack of alternate speeches, though, because YouTube isn’t the only virtual commencement ceremony where he’ll be speaking. On May 16, he will deliver the commencement speech for “Show Me Your Walk, HBCU Edition” at 2 p.m. ET. That night, he will also be the commencement speaker on a prime-time special Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020, which will air simultaneously on ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC at 8 p.m. ET, featuring guests including LeBron James, Bad Bunny, Megan Rapinoe, and Ben Platt. Quoting Oh, the Places You’ll Go! three times definitely won’t cut it.

Watch this space for the inevitable announcement that Tumblr will stream its own virtual alt-commencement hosted by the Grimes baby.

Barack Obama to Give Virtual Commencement Speech on YouTube