Here’s a bit of good news for the class of 2020, a graduating class stripped of typical milestones as the coronavirus shuttered schools around the country and disrupted normalcy the world over: Oprah Winfrey’s going to be speaking at your graduation.
On May 15 at 2 p.m. ET, Facebook and Instagram will host a virtual graduation ceremony for all those graduating in the class of 2020, in which Winfrey will deliver the commencement address.
In addition to Winfrey’s speech, others — including Awkwafina, Jennifer Garner, Lil Nas X, and Simone Biles — will share words of advice, according to a press release about the event. Miley Cyrus will also perform “The Climb.”
The full ceremony will be viewable on Facebook Watch, while highlights and other clips will be posted on the @instagram account on Instagram, as well as on contributor’s social media accounts.
During the ceremony, high schools and colleges in the U.S. will get acknowledged by name. These acknowledgements will feature some photos and videos from the class of 2020, as well as notes from deans and principals.
The virtual graduation ceremony is the culminating event in a week-long effort by Facebook and Instagram to honor this year’s graduates.
Starting on May 11, the @instagram account will host daily programming meant to replicate typical graduation experiences, like senior superlatives.
Instagram will also debut a graduation countdown sticker, a celebratory sticker pack, a specialized hashtag page for #Graduation2020, and new AR effects.
In addition, Facebook and Instagram stories will launch a graduation theme for Music Stickers, which will help people find graduation-themed music to share alongside their stories.
And finally, the Facebook app will offer resources to help you throw virtual graduation celebrations, such as custom filters and family and friend celebrations in Messenger Rooms.
These efforts might help students feel some closure, but when celebrating graduates you know in the class of 2020, it’s important to acknowledge the emotional toll of their disrupted school milestones. Remember they’ve made a tremendous achievement, and your congratulations (and Oprah’s) will likely mean a lot.
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