By Tribune Staff
Former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama are continuing their media efforts and focus on education. YouTube announced Tuesday in a story first published in Variety that they would be delivering commencement addresses for a graduation ceremony being presented by the online channel. YouTube’s “Dear Class of 2020” original special will also feature other celebs and notable names including BTS, Lady Gaga and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The festival-style lineup will feature talks on traditional graduation-day themes mixed in with music performances.
The multihour event premieres Saturday, June 6, on the YouTube Originals channel and YouTube’s Learn@Home site (learnathome.withyoutube.com).
The Obamas will each deliver individual commencement speeches — and a joint message — to graduates. Additionally, Mrs. Obama’s Reach Higher initiative will host a full hour of content to kick off the celebration.
Additional Commencement speakers include former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Malala Yousafzai. BTS and others will perform at a virtual grad night after-party.
Alicia Keys, Kelly Rowland, Kerry Washington, Chloe x Halle, Zendaya, and YouTube creators Jackie Aina, AsapSCIENCE, Dude Perfect, Mr. Kate, and The Try Guysn will also be part of the ceremony.
YouTube’s full schedule of commencement events will be available on the Learn@Home site beginning on May 17. Graduates can also set a reminder for the show and sign their name on the Dear Class of 2020 Shout Out Board at yt.be/dearclassof2020.
The special is being produced by Done and Dusted. Overseeing the project for YouTube are Nadine Zylstra, head of learning for YouTube Originals along with Danny Zaccagnino, Laurel Stier, Lauren Vrazilek, and Zoe Di Stefano on the learning development team.