Barack and Michelle Obama to give televised commencement speech for 2020 graduates


Former President Barack Obama will deliver a commencement message to the 3 million high school seniors graduating this month in a televised prime-time special.

Announced last week, “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020” will also feature appearances from LeBron James, Malala Yousafzai, the Jonas Brothers, Yara Shahidi, Bad Bunny, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams, Megan Rapinoe and H.E.R., among others. It will air simultaneously across all the major networks and social media platforms.

“This high school graduation season will be anything but ordinary, but that’s all the more reason why the class of 2020 deserves extraordinary advice, heartfelt encouragement and hard-won wisdom about facing new challenges in an uncertain world,” said Russlyn Ali, chief executive and co-founder of XQ Institute, which is co-hosting the event with the LeBron James Family Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation.

The one-hour multimedia event is one of a handful of special events saluting this year’s graduating class. The former president will also join wife Michelle Obama for a virtual ceremony on YouTube called “Dear Class of 2020” alongside BTS and Lady Gaga on June 6. Oprah Winfrey, Miley Cyrus and Awkwafina will participate in a commencement streaming event for Facebook and Instagram on May 15.

And earlier this week, John Krasinski tapped Yousafzai, Winfrey, Jon Stewart and Steven Spielberg for a graduation-themed segment of his hit weekly web series, “Some Good News.”

“Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020” will air the evening of May 16 on ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC.