BTS, the Obamas and Gaga will speak at Class of 2020's digital graduation

Honestly, what a line-up.

by Douglas Greenwood
06 May 2020, 10:46am

The Class of 2020 is about to graduate into an economic and social landscape that’s more uncertain than ever. The impact of coronavirus, experts are predicting, could be long-term; its spread potentially causing the worst economic recession in a hundred years.

What’s worse, many students’ years-long studies into subjects they care about (or have learned the ins and outs of to get a good grade and, thus, a good job) have sputtered out. Lectures have been moved online. Fashion students’ graduate collections are being made remotely or -- in many cases -- not at all. Resources are scarce, but the opportunity to be innovative with things can reap some pretty positive and exciting rewards.

For those who were looking forward to throwing their mortar boards in the air with a room of the mates they’ve spent three-to-four years getting drunk with at the weekends, fear not! Graduation too has found a digital home, and YouTube has managed to wrangle a bunch of guest speakers to make the whole affair far more exciting.

Nope, no more C-list celebrity guest speakers waxing lyrical about their times at uni -- some God-tier names are going to be speaking at the Dear Class of 2020 ceremony. The event, planned by YouTube in collaboration with Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative, the Born This Way Foundation, Malala Fund, the Today show on NBC and Ideas United, will bring the likes of the Obamas, Lady Gaga, BTS, Zendaya, Chloe x Halle and Malala Yousafzai to the podium -- some delivering speeches, others super-special one off performances that will be beamed around the world.

The event is scheduled to take place on 6 June as part of YouTube Originals. It’s being dubbed a ‘multi-hour’ event, which either means it’s gonna be staggered across different time zones so everybody gets a fair slice of the action -- or it's just going to go on for quite some time. Either way, that’s nice! What better way to finish off your academic career that being blessed with the dulcet tones of Jungkook and the women who famously professed, before we even had a whiff of Corona, that there “could be a hundred people in a room but all it takes is one”. Stay safe. Stay smart.

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