CHICAGO — The former First Family is set to headline a nationwide high school graduation event for the class of 2020. Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama are among a number of celebrities participating in “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020,” which will be shown at 8 p.m. Eastern Time Saturday, May 16, on ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC.
The one-hour special will celebrate more than 3 million high school seniors across the U.S. who have been forced to finish their high school academic careers from home amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Obamas announced Tuesday that they would be joining LeBron James, Malala Yousafzai, Pharrell Williams, Bad Bunny, H.E.R., Megan Rapinoe and a dozen other artists, athletes and celebrities.
"I've always loved joining commencements — the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice," Barack Obama wrote on Twitter. "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."
I’ve always loved joining commencements––the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice. 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. pic.twitter.com/ngR2ykx3A2
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 5, 2020
The former president is expected to speak about the coronavirus pandemic's disruption of school life and highlight how the senior class has missed out on a number of rites of passage, like going toprom and walking across the stage to receive their diplomas, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The “Graduate Together” event is being hosted by education advocacy organization XQ Institute, The LeBron James Family Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation.
Barack and Michelle Obama have also signed on to participate in the “Show Me Your Walk, HBCU Edition,” scheduled for 2 p.m. May 16, and the “Dear Class of 2020 Commencement Address” virtual event, set for 3 p.m. June 6.