March 20, 2023


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All of the 2020 Virtual Graduation Ceremonies – Variety

3 min read

With the COVID-19 pandemic making in-person graduation ceremonies impossible, several organizations have put together virtual celebrations for both high school and college seniors.

Though those graduating have been forced to miss a major milestone, they now have the opportunity to graduate in the presence of their favorite celebrities and hear commencement speeches from the likes of Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Will Ferrell and more.

Here is a list of all of the 2020 virtual graduation ceremonies.

Friday, May 15

USC with Will Ferrell, John Williams, Mandy Moore and Lisa Ling

The University of Southern California is livestreaming their commencement ceremony on YouTube, featuring speeches from Will Ferrell and Lisa Ling and appearances by Kyle Mooney, John Williams (who played the graduation processional on his piano) and Mark Hamill. The conferring of degrees will start at 9 a.m. PT and replay at 12 p.m. and 6 p.m., but the celebration will continue throughout the day until 8:30 p.m.

HerCampus with Billie Jean King, Margaret Cho and Radhika Jones

HerCampus is honoring college seniors with their #ImStillGraduating ceremony starting at 9 a.m. The virtual celebration will feature toasts, speeches and performances from Liam Payne, Eva Longoria, Austin Mahone, Jesse McCartney, Tamron Hall, Billie Jean King, Saweetie, Margaret Cho, Radhika Jones, Hailie Sahar, Andrew Yang and more. Graduating seniors were also able to apply to give a speech, toast or performance themselves.

#Graduation2020 with Lil Nas X and Miley Cyrus

Facebook and Instagram are throwing #Graduation2020 at 11 a.m. to celebrate seniors. Oprah Winfrey is the commencement speaker and Awkwafina, Jennifer Garner, Lil Nas X and Simone Biles will be delivering encouraging messages as well. Miley Cyrus is also performing her hit 2009 song “The Climb.”

Washington University in Saint Louis with Andy Cohen, Karlie Kloss and Ellie Kemper

Heartfelt messages from the many alums from Washington University.

Saturday, May 16

Graduate Together with LeBron James, Lana Condor, Malala Yousafzai and the Jonas Brothers

The LeBron James Family Foundation and The Entertainment Industry will present “Graduate Together: America Honors the Class of 2020” specifically for high school seniors. Beginning at 5 p.m., the ceremony will simulcast across ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC as well as stream online via TikTok, Twitter and YouTube. Barack Obama will deliver the commencement speech and LeBron James, Malala Yousafzai, the Jonas Brothers, Yara Shahidi, H.E.R., Megan Rapinoe, Bad Bunny, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams and Ben Platt will also give messages to the graduating seniors.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities are holding a “Show Me Your Walk HBCU Edition” event sponsored by Chase to celebrate more than 27,000 students at 78 schools. Hosted by Kevin Hart, the ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. ET and will include special messages from Barack Obama, Steve Harvey, Vince Carter, National Urban League president Marc Morial and performances by Anthony Hamilton, Wyclef Jean, Omari Hardwick and more. The event will be livestreamed on Chase’s YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn platforms, as well as HBCU’s Facebook page.

Wednesday, May 27

The School of Visual Arts with John Waters

The New York City based School of Visual Arts will stream its virtual graduation ceremony at 1 p.m. ET through their website and Facebook page. Writer, director and artist John Waters will serve as the keynote speaker.

Saturday, June 6

Dear Class of 2020 with Barack and Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga

YouTube’s all-day virtual graduation ceremony, “Dear Class of 2020” will include commencement addresses from Barack and Michelle Obama, as well as appearances from Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Kelly Rowland, Kerry Washington, Chloe x Halle, Zendaya, Condoleeza Rice and Malala Yousafzai. Oh.. and BTS will perform at the virtual after-party.

Past 2020 Graduation Speeches to Watch Now:

Wright State University commencement speech from Tom Hanks

Kitsilano Seconday School graduates are addressed by Ryan Reynolds

iHeart Radio’s Commencement: The Podcast featuring John Legend, Bill and Melinda Gates, Halsey and more.


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