Oprah Will Be Delivering A Virtual Commencement Speech For The Graduating Class Of 2020
Lil Nas X, Simone Biles and Awkwafina will join the media mogul in presenting words of wisdoms to grads.
April 28, 2020 at 5:19 pm
Nearly two weeks ago, thousands of Twitter fingers co-signed a high school senior's tweet urging former President Barack Obama to deliver a virtual national commencement speech for the graduating class of 2020.
Although the former Illinois senator has yet to make any decisions regarding the request, Facebook announced Tuesday morning that another famous, adopted Chicagoan will be presenting the commencement address for this year's graduating class who will be unable to enjoy the pomp and circumstance of a formal graduation ceremony due to social distancing measures. The event, titled "#Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020," will take place on May 15.
According to a Facebook bulletin, Oprah Winfrey has agreed to present the virtual commencement address and will join other celebrities in giving words of wisdom to graduating high school and college seniors. The list of celebrities includes Lil Nas X, Simone Biles and actress Awkwafina. Miley Cyrus will also give a live performance of her single "The Climb."
Marne Levine, vice president of global partnerships and corporate development for Facebook, noted in the event’s announcement that graduation is a special celebration that has been stripped away from students during these trying times.
“As students head toward graduation, it’s not the day they might have imagined — no processions, no diploma handoffs, no parties,” Levine wrote in the bulletin. “But graduating is a tremendous achievement, and worth pausing to celebrate even in these circumstances.”
However, in a lot of ways, Facebook might stand to benefit the most from the large influx of viewers and engagement the event is projected to garner, as most of the country is adhering to social distancing guidelines at home.
The social media giant is also allowing graduates to host their own virtual ceremonies and parties via the Facebook app, with special features including a virtual graduation hub stocked with custom filters.
Facebook and Instagram are set to launch other programming and features in the week leading up to the 2020 graduation livestream.
According to the event release, Instagram will begin to host daily programming that covers graduates’ experiences, like dances, senior pranks and picture day. Instagram also will issue new in-app creative tools and features that include the custom hashtag #Graduation2020, stickers and new augmented reality effects.
Both Facebook and Instagram Stories will be launching a graduation theme for music stickers, chock-full of graduation songs to use in posts.
Individual segments will broadcast via Instagram and from various contributors’ social media accounts. During the ceremony, spotlights will be shined on various high schools and colleges in the U.S., with individual institutional features and messages from principals and deans.