Barack and Michelle Obama to give 2020 commencement speech on YouTube

The Obamas will be joined by Lady Gaga, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and more.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle close the Obama Foundation Summit together on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology on October 29, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are giving the graduates of 2020 something to look forward to amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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The former president, 58, and first lady, 56, will each deliver individual commencement addresses⁠—and a joint speech⁠—during a virtual YouTube graduation ceremony on June 6. Barack announced the exciting news in a post on Instagram on Tuesday, May 5.

“I’ve always loved joining commencements––the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice,” he wrote alongside a photo of himself delivering an earlier graduation speech. “Even if we can’t get together in person this year, Michelle and I are excited to celebrate the nationwide Class of 2020 and recognize this milestone with you and your loved ones.”

The Obamas will be joined by other prominent public figures, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Lady Gaga, Malala Yousafzai, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and more. K-pop band BTS will perform during the YouTube special, which has been dubbed “Dear Class of 2020.”

Several A-list celebrities, including Alicia Keys, Kelly Rowland, Kerry Washington, Chloe x Halle and Zendaya, are also scheduled to make an appearance during the multi-hour ceremony.

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Michelle’s Reach Higher initiative will kick off the celebration with a full hour of content. The “Becoming” author took to Instagram on Tuesday to share a special message to the 2020 graduates.

“To the #Classof2020, I know how hard you all have worked to make it to graduation,” Michelle wrote on the social media platform. “You’ve put in long hours studying. You’ve thrown yourself into extracurricular activities and after-school jobs. And you’ve done everything you can to be there for your friends through it all.”

She continued, “Some of you will be the first in your families to graduate from high school or college, making this occasion all the more special. And 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.”

The full schedule of commencement activities will be available on May 17 on YouTube’s Learn@Home site. Graduates will be able to sign their name and set a reminder for the special on the “Dear Class of 2020” shout-out board at yt.be/dearclassof2020.

The “Dear Class of 2020” special premieres on Saturday, June 6, on the YouTube Originals channel.

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