Jeremy Pope
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The Obamas, Lady Gaga to Appear in 2020 YouTube Graduation Ceremony


Prepare for pomp and circumstance with the Obamas and Lady Gaga.

YouTube is hosting a star-studded virtual graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 — and the former First Couple and Mother Monster are among the headliners. 

President Obama and Michelle Obama are set to deliver individual speeches and a joint address reports Variety. There will also be an hour of programming from the Reach Higher Initiative, a program run by Michelle Obama that encourages higher education.

Dubbed "Dear Class of 2020," the event features commencement speakers Gaga, BTS, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Malala Yousafzai.

Alicia Keys, Kerry Washington, Zendaya, Kelly Rowland, and Chloe x Halle will also make appearances, in addition to YouTubers like Jackie Aina, Dude Perfect, the couple behind Mr. Kate, the Try Guys, and AsapSCIENCE. 

The online ceremony will also feature stories from an international group of students and graduates, with the help of event partners the Reach Higher Initiative, the Born This Way Foundation, NBC’s Today, Ideas United, and Malala Fund. 

The event announcement comes as many graduation ceremonies have been disrupted due to the global pandemic. Susanne Daniels, YouTube's global head of original content, hopes it serves as "inspiration" during a challenging time.

“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,” Daniels said in a statement. “We hope bringing together noteworthy, influential speakers along with performances from some of their favorite artists will provide encouragement for the students who have worked so hard to get here.”

For their part, the Obamas want the celebration to be as inclusive as possible. "Whether you’re graduating from high school, college, or any other kind of school –– we want you, your family, and all of your loved ones to be a part of this celebration," Michelle Obama wrote to Twitter.

"Dear Class of 2020" will take place Saturday, June 6 at 3 p.m. Eastern / noon Pacific on YouTube. A full schedule of events and speakers will be released May 17. Graduates-to-be can set a reminder and sign their names on the shout-out board at

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