Graduation is a rite of passage that you have no doubt been looking forward to for some time. And while Spring 2020 has brought a season of disappointments, canceling graduations seems particularly egregious. This is the culminating celebration for years of hard work. It should be a day that is celebrated with teachers, family and friends, and hugs, handshakes and high-fives. Unfortunately, for most students that’s not possible right now.
Perhaps it is precisely because we know nothing can replace standing next to your friends and throwing your cap in the air, communities around the country have come together to devise creative ways to mark the importance of this occasion. There have been graduation car parades, ceremonies held at drive-in theaters, individual graduations hosted in living rooms, and virtual ceremonies featuring special guests.
Speaking of special guests – celebrities, CEOs, pro athletes, and entertainers are all getting in on the act. In response to a viral tweet by Eagle Rock High School senior, Lincoln Debenham, Barack and Michelle Obama announced last week that they would participate in multiple commencement ceremonies. The first is this Saturday, May 16. Called #GraduateTogether, it features the Obamas along with Lebron James, Pharrell Williams, the Jonas Brothers, Megan Rapinoe and others. The event will be broadcast by ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC beginning at 8pm ET/PT, 7pm CT/MT. This Forbes article details a number of other celebrity ceremonies including a May 15 Facebook event headlined by Oprah and a May 16 iHeart Media podcast of celebrity commencement addresses.
We love you Class of 2020! Our hearts break for the disappointments you have been handed this spring and yet we celebrate you all the same. You deserve to be recognized and we will do that in whatever way possible. We are so proud of your accomplishments and especially proud of the grace you have shown in adapting to these final weeks of your senior year.