Oprah To Deliver Commencement Speech For Facebook’s Virtual Class Of 2020 Graduation

Facebook has planned a full week of programming to celebrate seniors across the country.

Oprah Winfrey on stage in March 2020.
Tom Cooper / Getty Images

Facebook has planned a full week of programming to celebrate seniors across the country.

According to Variety, Facebook announced they are celebrating the Class of 2020 in a big way next month with a live broadcast called “#Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, public gatherings have been canceled throughout the country, which has prompted large events, like graduations, to find alternative ways to celebrate.

The virtual ceremony will stream live on May 15 at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET, with a special commencement address from Oprah Winfrey. Awkwafina, Jennifer Garner, Lil Nas X, Simone Biles, and more have been tapped to share words of wisdom for the seniors. Additionally, Miley Cyrus is scheduled to do a special performance of her hit song, “The Climb,” which has become a graduation song in its own right.

The social networking platform also plans to acknowledge high schools and colleges by name across America, state by state, including photos and videos of the graduates and messages from university deans and school principals.

“As students head toward graduation, it’s not the day they might have imagined — no processions, no diploma handoffs, no parties,” Marne Levine, Facebook’s VP of global partnerships, business and corporate development, wrote in a statement announcing the event. “But graduating is a tremendous achievement, and worth pausing to celebrate even in these circumstances.”

Graduates can also host their own virtual graduation ceremonies and parties on the platform, which will roll out special features like a “virtual graduation hub,” custom filters, and family and friend celebrations in Messenger Rooms.

On May 11, Instagram (owned by Facebook) will kick off the daily programming, showing off iconic senior experiences — from “most likely” votes to portrait showcases to senior skip day.

Instagram will also implement new tools and features such as a graduation countdown sticker, graduation-themed sticker packs, new AR effects, and a custom hashtag page for #Graduation2020.

In addition, Facebook and Instagram stories will launch a graduation theme for their Music Stickers, incorporating a list of graduation-related songs so graduates and families can express their excitement with the perfect graduation soundtrack.

As The Inquisitr reported, a Twitter user named Lincoln went viral for a tweet that asked former President Barack Obama to deliver a commencement address for the country’s graduating high school seniors. President Obama never commented on the tweet.

According to Variety, “Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020” is being produced by B17 Entertainment, with Rhett Bachner and Brien Meagher serving as executive producers and Jane Mun as showrunner and executive producer.