Barack Obama, LeBron James and Malala Yousafzai will salute graduating seniors

Former President Barack Obama to give virtual commencement address to class of 2020
Posted at 11:13 AM, May 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-16 12:13:16-04

The high school class of 2020 will be sent off with a memorable, albeit virtual, ceremony Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.

Barack Obama will deliver the commencement speech for the event, which will be broadcast on several networks, and is a tribute to the graduating seniors. The novel coronavirus pandemic has prevented any large gatherings from happening, including graduations.

Special guests will include LeBron James, Malala Yousafzai, the Jonas Brothers, Yara Shahidi, Bad Bunny, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams, Megan Rapinoe, H.E.R. and Ben Platt. The event is being hosted by XQ Institute, The LeBron James Family Foundation and The Entertainment Industry Foundation.

"This will be a moment to come together -- as one nation -- to applaud this rite of passage. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating the Class of 2020’s achievements," according to the event's official website. "We've been coping with this crisis together. Now it's time to look ahead together. Let's start by celebrating the graduates of the Class of 2020 and the pivotal role they will play in rethinking and reshaping the path forward."

In addition to being on ABC, the ceremony will air on CBS, Fox and NBC as well as other broadcast and digital streaming partners, according to a press release. The one-hour event is titled "Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020."

It won't be the only ceremony that Obama will be a part of. Earlier on Saturday, Obama will share a message for students at historically black colleges or universities.

"Show Me Your Walk, HBCU Edition" will be a two-hour virtual HBCU commencement program presented by Chase in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the United Negro College Fund, the National Association for Equal Opportunity, the NBA, Paul Quinn College, Howard University and JPMorgan Chase's Advancing Black Pathways Initiative, according to the former president's office. It will be livestreamed at 2 p.m. ET.

On June 6, he will be joined by former first lady Michelle Obama in YouTube's "Dear Class of 2020," another livestream event that will honor students. Both Obamas "will deliver separate commencement addresses," according to the office.

That event will feature global leaders, celebrities, creators and more, including Malala Yousafzai, Sundar Pichai, former Defense Secretary Bob Gates, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys and Kerry Washington.