×
Barack and Michelle Obama to deliver commencement speeches for the graduating students of 2020

Barack and Michelle Obama to deliver commencement speeches for the graduating students of 2020

"I know that none of you imagined you would be closing this chapter of your life through a computer or phone screen. But I still want to make sure you still get the celebration you deserve," Michelle Obama said.

After going through so much to make it to their graduation day, the last thing that high school and college students would have imagined is that they would have to see the end of their high school or college studies would culminate with them staying locked away in their homes.

As a result of the ongoing pandemic, traditional graduation ceremonies would be replaced by virtual ones. But in an effort to honor the Class of 2020 and make it a special occasion, former President and First Lady, Barack and Michelle Obama will be addressing the graduating students.

Source: Getty Images | Photo by Pool

The iconic couple that has undoubtedly made a huge impact on young minds when they were in the White House were in the news again a few days ago when thousands of students across the US began spreading the message that they would want to Obamas to give the commencement speeches.

Looks like their efforts have paid off, as Barack and Michelle Obama will now officially be hosting commencement celebrations in May and June for students who will miss their in-person event, while the former President will also be giving out a message virtually to HBCU students in May, as reported by ABC News.

Although it can't be done in person, Barack Obama shared his excitement on social media along with the events lined up.



 

Michelle Obama also took out a moment to appreciate students for all the work they put in and wrote on Instagram, "I know that none of you imagined you would be closing this chapter of your life through a computer or phone screen. But I still want to make sure you still get the celebration you deserve. That’s why, through my @reachhigher Initiative, I’m working with @youtube Originals to host a special virtual graduation for you on June 6th."

Extending her invitation to students as well as their loved ones, Michelle Obama said, "Whether you’re graduating from high school, college, or any other kind of school––we want you, your family, and all of your loved ones to be a part of this celebration. And we want to do this right for all of you, so I’ll be inviting some very special guests—including @BarackObama—to help ring in this momentous day."



 

Talking about why the couple decided to do this, a statement from the former president's office said, "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. Today, the Obamas are pleased to announce that they will participate in multiple virtual commencement celebrations for students, families and educators," as quoted by ABC News.

The bid to get the Obamas to deliver a nationwide commencement speech also included a social media campaign that started with a tweet put out by high school senior, Lincoln Debenham.



 



 



 

Now, the announcement by the Obamas have come just in time to give the students something to look forward to.

Students will also have the chance to hear from an illustrious lineup of guests which include LeBron James, Malala Yousafzai, Pharrell Williams, Megan Rapinoe, the Jonas Brothers, Yara Shahidi, Bad Bunny, Lena Waithe, H.E.R., and Ben Platt.

A press release that highlighted the details of the event, Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020, mentioned that the one-hour long event would be broadcast on channels such as ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, and it would also be available to watch on digital streaming platforms.

"This high school graduation season will be anything but ordinary -- but that's all the more reason why the Class of 2020 deserves extraordinary advice, heartfelt encouragement, and hard-won wisdom about facing new challenges in an uncertain world," said Russlynn Ali, CEO and co-founder of XQ Institute, which is one of the event's hosts. "We are grateful to President Obama for giving this gift to our nation's three million high school seniors as they #GraduateTogether."

Source: Getty Images | Photo by Chip Somodevilla

 

On May 16 will be the Show Me Your Walk, HBCU Edition event which would span 2 hours while on June 6, Dear Class of 2020 will be streaming live on YouTube. For the latter, not only with both Barack and Michelle Obama address the viewers but they will also be joined by other distinguished guests like Malala Yousafzai, Sundar Pichai, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, and others.

Reflecting just how much students are looking forward to the virtual events, Lincoln who started the campaign said, "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. It's what need right now and I'm glad Mr. and Mrs. Obama were so kind to agree to do it."

Recommended for you