With new state guidelines all but ending any hopes for high school graduation ceremonies, seniors can at least tune in to a once-in-a-lifetime commencement address and ceremony. Former President Barack Obama will deliver a commencement message for America’s three million high school seniors during a televised, one-hour multimedia event called “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020” on Saturday, May 16 at 7 p.m. MT.
This primetime graduation ceremony — to be shown on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC stations — will bring together notable figures to give a joyful tribute to America’s Class of 2020.
Among those joining President Obama are LeBron James, Malala Yousafzai, the Jonas Brothers, Yara Shahidi, Bad Bunny, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams, Megan Rapinoe, H.E.R., Ben Platt, and others.
President Obama will congratulate the Class of 2020 on their accomplishments over the past four years—and reflect on the past two months, as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced students in every high school across the country to adjust to new ways of learning and connecting and miss out on highly anticipated rites of passage like graduation.
During the program, President Obama will also be joined by several high school students who are part of the Obama Foundation’s work to inspire, empower, and connect people to change their world, including seniors from Chicago Public Schools and members of the Obama Youth Jobs Corps.
Along with the major networks, more than 20 other broadcast and digital streaming partners, will simulcast the special.