A tweet asking Barack Obama to deliver a commencement address to all of the country’s graduating high school seniors is gaining viral interest as Americans look for ways to celebrate the classes that will likely miss these ceremonies due to the coronavirus.
Across the country, states have shut down schools and arranged for students to work from home, holding virtual meetings with teachers and handing in assignments via online portals. While the unique arrangements may allow them to complete their academic work and graduate on time, it means they are missing key milestones like senior prom and graduation ceremonies.
That is where a Twitter user named Lincoln thought Obama could step in and help. The high school senior tagged Obama in a tweet, suggesting that the former president might deliver one mass commencement speech to all of America’s 2020 graduating class.
“Hi @BarackObama!” Lincoln wrote. “Like most high school/college seniors, I’m saddened by the loss of milestone events, prom & graduation. In an unprecedented time, it would give us great comfort to hear your voice. We ask you to consider giving a national commencement speech to the class of 2020.”
The tweet has generates some major interest, garnering more than 70,000 likes and sparking the hashtag #ObamaCommencement2020, which shot to the top of Twitter’s trends on Wednesday afternoon. Many saw it as a fitting way to send off America’s graduating seniors, retweeting the hashtag and tagging the former president, hoping for a response.
“One of the most important things you can learn for adult life is how to end things well, and with closure,” tweeted comedian Ashley Nicole Black. “Having the school year end suddenly deprived the class of 2020 of that opportunity! Plus the hats! I hope #ObamaCommencement2020 happens. They deserve a celebration.”
Obama is no stranger to making graduation addresses, having been tapped to do a number a famous one at Rutgers University in 2016, in which he praised the idea of making fact-based decisions and said that “ignorance is not a virtue.” This was seen as an attack against the growing political power of Donald Trump’s campaign.
It is not clear if the former president would accept the invitation to deliver a commencement address to America’s graduating seniors. Obama has remained mostly on the sidelines during the coronavirus crisis, not publicly addressing the response from Trump despite how the president has taken some shots at Obama’s administration and blamed his officials for lack of preparation for the pandemic.