With celebrities like Shawn Mendes, Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga, BTS, Awkwafina, Lil Nas X and the Jonas Brothers joining in.
As with all major events, festivals and celebrations, graduation ceremonies this year have also been cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. For young graduates, whose commencement events usually take place in May or June, this is of course a major disappointment. So stepping in to help celebrate the Class of 2020—virtually, of course—are a slew of celebrities. Read on for all the big names hosting or participating in virtual graduation parties this summer.
WE Celebrate: Class of 2020
Canadian broadcast network CTV and Toronto-based international charity WE have teamed up to give the class of 2020 the graduation celebration they deserve. A one-hour virtual event, titled WE Celebrate: Class of 2020, is scheduled for June 6 at 8pm EST, with Canadian comedian and late night talk show host Lilly Singh set to host.
Selena Gomez, Shawn Mendes, Natalie Portman, Shay Mitchell, Brett Kissel and Jacob Tremblay are confirmed to make an appearance during the special event, which will include valedictorian addresses, one-of-a-kind performances and surprises to celebrate students across Canada. The special will be the culmination of a week-long virtual road trip across the country, during which WE Day-inspired events will shine a spotlight on students and teachers making a difference in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Right now, more than ever, we need to draw strength from the shameless idealism young Canadians continue to show with their actions,” said WE co-founder Craig Kielburger in a press release. “The 2020 school year is like no other. During these uncertain times, it’s important to us that we remain dedicated to celebrating students and teachers who have made lasting impacts this school year and who continue to prove that we really are in this together.”
#Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020
Across the border, Oprah Winfrey will be delivering a commencement address for the Class of 2020. #Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020 is a multi-hour streaming event scheduled for May 15, featuring Awkwafina, Jennifer Garner, Lil Nas X, Simone Biles and others, as well as a musical performance by Miley Cyrus.
The virtual graduation ceremony will be broadcast on Facebook Watch at 2pm EST, and individual segments will be posted to Instagram’s official account, as well as to participants’ social media accounts.
Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020
LeBron James is also hosting a graduation party, scheduled for the day after Oprah’s, on May 16. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020 “will air simultaneously on all broadcast channels CBS, NBC, FOX, and ABC and will be available to stream on major social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and TikTok.” A slate of artists, athletes, musicians and activists such as the Jonas Brothers, Yara Shahidi, Ben Platt, Lena Waithe, Megan Rapinoe, Pharrell Williams, Malala Yousafzai and Chika are scheduled to appear during the one-hour special event.
“While this won’t be the graduation experience they were supposed to get, we hope we can still give them something special because they deserve it,” said James in a statement.
Dear Class of 2020
YouTube has announced yet another virtual commencement, bringing together inspirational leaders, actors, musicians and others to celebrate new graduates. This multi-hour event is scheduled for June 6 and will be streamed on the YouTube Originals channel and the [email protected] site.
Headlining this online graduation are Barack and Michelle Obama, who will each deliver inspiring commencement speeches to the Class of 2020. Additional commencement speakers include Lady Gaga, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Malala Yousafzai, among others. Following the graduation is a virtual grad night afterparty, with performances and special appearances by BTS, Alicia Keys, Kelly Rowland, Kerry Washington, Chloe x Halle and Zendaya. The full schedule of commencement events will be released on May 17.