The Dear Class of 2020 virtual celebration took place on June 7 on YouTube. The event was a four-hour graduation ceremony to celebrate students graduating in 2020.
The virtual ceremony was held as many traditional graduation ceremonies were canceled due to the ongoing pandemic. YouTube streamed the event on its YouTube Originals channel and through the Learn@Home website. The event occurred a day later than planned, as it was held back out of respect for George Floyd’s memorial service.
The event started with Lizzo performing Pomp and Circumstance alongside the New York Philharmonic. Alicia Keys also made remarks at the start.
Multiple commencement speakers took part in the event. Former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama were the main speakers. Others included Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Lady Gaga, BTS, Sundar Pichai, Malala Yousafzai, and Secretaries Robert Gates and Condoleezza Rice.
The event featured musical performances from BTS, Lizzo, Katy Perry, and Megan Thee Stallion. There were also two all-star musical numbers with many major guests. These included Leon Bridges, Khalid, Chris Martin of Coldplay, Janelle Monae, Kelly Rowland, and Misty Copeland.
There were also guest appearances by many people looking to offer their words of encouragement. Bill and Melinda Gates, who have been working on charitable efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, were among the speakers. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, the couple that recently recovered from the virus causing the pandemic, were also on hand. Others who participated included Justin Timberlake, Peyton Manning, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, and the voice cast of the Simpsons. Many YouTube creators like Dude Perfect and AsapScience were also on hand.
The event ended with Katy Perry leading the graduates in the ceremonial tassel turn that comes at the end.
YouTube divided the event into five separate blocks with an approximate schedule for when each party was to appear. The event proved to be a hit on YouTube, as millions of people streamed the program. The event was also essential for giving the new graduates a sense of hope for the future.