Michelle and Barack Obama announced Tuesday that they will deliver speeches at a handful of virtual graduations this spring and summer to celebrate the millions of American students stuck at home because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ex-president will kick off his family’s commencement circuit with an afternoon speech at a virtual graduation event for historically black colleges and universities on May 16.

That same evening, Obama will deliver another speech addressed to all U.S. high school graduates as part of a virtual hour-long event that will also feature LeBron James, Lady Gaga, Ben Platt and Malala Yousafzai, among other celebrities. The speech will be carried live on all major networks at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

Both Obamas will then wrap up their graduation tour by delivering speeches at a June 6 virtual event addressed to all 2020 graduates in the country.

“I’ve always loved joining commencements –– the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice,” Barack Obama tweeted. “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.”

The virus has upended student life across the country, with several states, including New York and New Jersey, suspending classes for the rest of the school year.


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