Given that the coronavirus has scrapped high school and college graduation ceremonies the world over, YouTube is bringing this year’s festivities online with a star-studded special.
The event, dubbed Dear Class Of 2020, will bow on June 6. It will feature commencement speeches from former first couple Barack and Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, K-pop group BTS, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and activist and Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai.
In addition to the above commencement speeches, the special will also feature a virtual afterparty, with appearances from Kelly Rowland, Kerry Washington, Alicia Keys, Zendaya, and Chloe x Halle. Joining the afterparty from the native YouTube creator front are beauty vlogger Jackie Aina, ASAPScience, Dude Perfect, Zane Hijazi, Heath Hussar, Mr. Kate, and The Try Guys. A full run of show will be available on May 17 at YouTube’s Learn@Home site — which launched in March as a hub for educational content aimed at parents and kids in quarantine.
Dear Class Of 2020 will kick off with one hour of programming produced by Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative, which seeks to encourage students to complete their educations past high school — and which has collaborated with YouTube on past programming ventures. The special is being produced by events and content studio Done + Dusted, and YouTube is also working with Lady Gaga’s mental health-focused Born This Way Foundation, as well as the Malala Fund (which advocates for girls education efforts), the Today show, and creative studio Ideas United to showcase inspirational student stories.
“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,” Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s global head of original content, said of the special in a statement.
The special will live on the YouTube Originals channel as well as the Learn@Home website. Dear Class Of 2020 is part of a newly-announced slate of YouTube Originals being produced to entertain and educate audiences amid the coronavirus pandemic.