A high school senior asked the Obamas to give a commencement speech for the Class of 2020 and now it's happening
The Class of 2020 has to feel massively let down this time of year. After working so hard to reach the finish line, most won't be able to attend a public graduation ceremony. They'll also miss out on traditional graduation events such as prom, banquets, senior ditch day, and baccalaureate.
To help make graduation day feel like less of a drag, California high school senior Lincoln Debenham tweeted Barack Obama last month asking him to give a speech to the nation's 2020 graduating class to make up for the lost ceremony.
"I'm saddened by the loss of milestone events, prom & graduation," Lincoln wrote. "In an unprecedented time, it would give us great comfort to hear your voice. We ask you to consider giving a national commencement speech to the class of 2020."
Then he started the hashtag #ObamaCommencement2020 .
Hi @BarackObama! Like most high school/college seniors, I'm saddened by the loss of milestone events, prom & graduation. In an unprecedented time, it would give us great comfort to hear your voice. We ask you to consider giving a national commencement speech to the class of 2020.
— Lincoln (@lincolnjackd) April 15, 2020
This created a groundswell on social media for Barack and Michelle Obama to deliver commencement speeches. Who better to send the Class of 2020 out into the real world? According to Gallup, the Obamas are the most admired man and woman in the world.
If @BarackObama gave a commencement speech to all the high school/college graduating seniors, it would be the most viewed live-stream event in history.
Whaddaya say Mr. President?
— Bill Madden (@maddenifico) April 15, 2020
My son is graduating from college and my daughter is graduating from high school — we would love to have @BarackObama give a national commencement speech! #ObamaCommencement2020 https://t.co/XetLubPo0g
— Carrie House (@cnh_65) April 15, 2020
OF COURSE we should have #ObamaCommencement2020...
He's already written some of the best lines.
This one is feeling more relevant by the minute. pic.twitter.com/YWNXl8KLGs
— Julie Cohen (@FilmmakerJulie) April 15, 2020
Well, it looks like Lincoln and countless other graduates are going to get their wish.
The Obamas are set to deliver a virtual commencement celebration for graduates from high school, university or "any other kind of school," Michelle Obama tweeted Tuesday. The special will take place on YouTube on June 6, 2020, and is called "Dear Class of 2020."
The special will also feature appearances by Lady Gaga, BTS, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and activist Malala Yousafzai.
"I've always loved joining commencements––the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice," Barack Obama wrote on Twitter. "Even if we can't get together in person this year, Michelle and I are excited to celebrate the nationwide Class of 2020 and recognize this milestone with you and your loved ones."
I've always loved joining commencements––the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice. Even if we can't get together in person this year, Michelle and I are excited to celebrate the nationwide Class of 2020 and recognize this milestone with you and your loved ones. pic.twitter.com/ngR2ykx3A2
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 5, 2020
In addition to the YouTube special, Barack Obama will deliver a virtual commencement speech for graduates from historically black colleges and universities as well. On May 16, he will also appear on a television special for high school graduates that will air across the major TV networks.
Lincoln was understandably excited to hear the announcement.
THANK YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA!!! #ObamaCommencement2020 https://t.co/NWpsOBtR3U
— Lincoln (@lincolnjackd) May 5, 2020
There hasn't been similar clamoring from graduates to hear from the current president. A search of #TrumpCommencement2020 yields about five people who think Trump should speak to the graduating class.
Hi @realDonaldTrump! Like most college seniors, we are saddened by the loss of milestone events such as graduation. In an unprecedented time, we ask you to consider giving a national commencement speech to the class of 2020 #trumpcommencement2020
— Albion College Republicans (@albioncolleger1) April 16, 2020
As Barack Obama said on Twitter he is pretty fond of giving commencement speeches. Here's one from Rutgers in 2016 where he gave some advice that's just as good in 2020.
President Obama Delivers the Rutgers University Commencement Address www.youtube.com
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