Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, many high school and college students have had to adjust their graduation plans. But the former president and first lady made the YouTube live broadcast ceremony unforgettable.
On Sunday, June 7, the Obamas gave people a sense of hope during their moving graduation speeches. The dynamic duo shared individual messages, as well as one together, to encourage, empower and uplift graduates this year.
“Hello everyone, and congratulations to the class of 2020,” Barack began his joint speech with his wife on a prerecorded recording.
“It is a great day for all of you,” said Michelle. “We couldn’t be more excited to be celebrating with you today … Now, while you may not have the experience of sweating under your gown and mortarboard under the blazing sun, be ashamed that your family shouts your name when you cross the stage , you still have all those people with you today. ”
She added: “These people deserve your love and gratitude for helping them get here. So give them a squeeze if they are with you now …”
Barack chimed in, “Especially dads!”
“If they’re not [with you], call them later. That’s from moms, this is their day too,” Michelle continued.
The former president took a moment to share a few words of hope.
“Today is the culmination of a long journey. Think about when your freshman year was just beginning. You probably looked forward to graduation day, met new people, learned some new skills, and prepared for the first step. Perhaps the college, maybe graduate school, maybe your first job, “Barack said. “You accomplished all of that. And just as you were making the final turn, the world went through a pandemic your way.”
Michelle added: “And in the past few months, you had to get even higher, you were not only adapting to a virtual classroom, you were helping your teachers adjust their audio so that the rest of the class could listen. You were not just taking his final exams online, he was making sure that his brothers also had enough time on the computer to finish their work. ”
“That is a lot to ask of anyone, and despite everything, you did everything,” Barack said. “We want you to know that investing in your education is one of the best investments you will make. We have seen this to be true for decades. The better education you have, the more likely you are to have your families fair.”
“She was born in the past two months and will continue to be born for years to come. So you have done very well,” she continued. “Keep your head up and celebrate.”
“And go ahead and dance a little bit, a great dance,” encouraged Michelle.
In addition to the couple’s words of encouragement on Sunday, author Becoming’s Reach Higher initiative is also hosting a full hour of content to celebrate the “Dear Class of 2020” ceremony.
“Ever since we launched Reach Higher, we had a clear goal down the line. We wanted higher education to be great,” said Michelle, as a collage of student images and videos played in the background. “Because as a nation, that’s where the spotlight should be: on the kids who work hard at school, who do the right thing when no one is watching.”
“Each of you has something to offer, and I can’t wait to see you all achieve.”
Today’s virtual graduation featured other notable graduation speakers. Those who participate? Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, BTS, Malala Yousafzai and many more stars and public figures.
The event also had special appearances by Alicia Keys, Kelly Rowland, Kerry Washington, Chloe x Halle, Zendaya, Jackie Aina, and many others.