This evening, YouTube Originals are presenting the hotly-anticipated ‘Dear Class of 2020’ commencement ceremony. It begins at 3 p.m. ET and opens with Lizzo and the New York Philharmonic performing ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ and remarks from Alicia Keys.
Former President Barack Obama, former First Lady Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, BTS, Lady Gaga, Secretary Robert M. Gates, Secretary Condoleezza Rice, Sundar Pichai and Malala Yousafzai will serve as the official commencement speakers for the four-hour virtual graduation. You can watch the ‘Dear Class Of 2020’ live-stream below.
Mr and Mrs. Obama will greet the graduates with a special message during the ceremony’s first hour, hosted by her Reach Higher initiative, which inspires every student in America to complete their education past high school. This marks the first time both the former President and First Lady will have appeared on the same “stage” for commencement speeches.
Plenty of celebrity appearances and performances are in the works including Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish and two mega collaborations are planned: Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi, Kelly Rowland, Shonda Rhimes, Misty Copeland and Janelle Monáe will recite Maya Angelou’s ‘Still I Rise’ poem, while Finneas will produce a special rendition of U2’s ‘Beautiful Day’ featuring Leon Bridges, Camila Cabello, Noah Cyrus, Cynthia Erivo, Khalid, Tove Lo, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Ben Platt, and Ty Dolla $ign.
Appearances will also be made by Bill and Melinda Gates, Kevin Durant, Andy Cohen, Ciara, Yara Shahidi and Michael Strahan. A selection of YouTube creators will join the mix as well, including NikkieTutorials, Emma Chamberlain, John Green and Mark Rober.
In addition to speaking at the event, BTS will lead a virtual afterparty, along with Doja Cat, CNCO and Megan Thee Stallion. Performers during the ceremony will include Camila Cabello, Lizzo, Chloe x Halle and Maluma.
Ahead of the ceremony, graduating students across the country were encouraged to submit videos covering a range of categories, including shout-outs to beloved teachers, favourite school memories, or even of videos capturing their cheering families.