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YouTube one-ups Facebook’s virtual graduation with stream featuring the Obamas

Facebook has some new competition for the best virtual graduation ceremony, courtesy of YouTube and the Obamas.

YouTube is honoring 2020 graduates who can’t physically walk across the stage to get their diploma with a virtual commencement ceremony featuring famous faces like Barack and Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, the members of BTS, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

The celebrities will appear as commencement speakers for the live event streaming on June 6 at noon PT. 

“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,” Barack Obama tweeted Tuesday. 

Other famous guests set to make special appearances include Alicia Keys, Kerry Washington, Zendaya, Kelly Rowland, and others. 


Facebook is hosting its own livestream graduation on May 15 at 11 a.m. PT, featuring Oprah Winfrey as the commencement speaker. 

In addition to Oprah’s speech, Awkwafina, Jennifer Garner, Lil Nas X, Simone Biles, and other celebrities will share advice for the Class of 2020 during the ceremony. Miley Cyrus will also perform her 2009 hit The Climb as part of the celebration.

Ellen Degeneres also got in on honoring 2020 graduates by posting a commencement speech video, donning a graduation “robe” and providing comedic relief for students expected to graduate during this tough time. 

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted over 25 million students from more than 4,200 colleges and universities in the U.S. due to schools closing. 

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