High school and college graduates will be missing out on a major milestone this spring, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. To help boost morale, YouTube Originals have announced a virtual graduation event, Dear Class Of 2020, on 6 June, featuring commencement speeches and performances from an all-star lineup of artists, thought leaders, politicians and tastemakers.
Lady Gaga, former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama as well as BTS are among the high-profile lineup of speakers set to address graduates, beginning at noon PST. The K-pop superstars will also perform a virtual afterparty.
Additionally, graduates can look forward to speeches by activist Malala Yousafzai, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai and former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates.
Special appearances will be made by the likes of Kelly Rowland, Alicia Keys, Zendaya, Chloe x Halle and Kerry Washington, while the former first lady’s Higher Reach Initiative, which inspires every student in America to complete their education past high school, will launch the event with an hour of special content.
In an official statement, Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Content for YouTube, said, “Graduation is a tradition that students and families look forward to and with the current state of the world, YouTube is lending some inspiration in the form of a virtual commencement”. She continued, “We hope bringing together noteworthy, influential speakers along with performances from some of their favourite artists will provide encouragement for the students who have worked so hard to get here”.
In other Lady Gaga news, the artist recently served as Creative Director for the One World: Together At Home live-stream. The massive eight-hour event, which raised nearly $128 million for COVID-19 aid, featured a global lineup of artists, including The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and Elton John.
The artist also recently unveiled the tracklist for her hotly-anticipated new album, Chromatica. Originally scheduled for an April release date, Gaga’s sixth studio album has been delayed, amid the pandemic.