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Michelle Obama, Barack Obama make a joint commencement speech for class of 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has made institutions forego traditional graduation ceremonies for virtual ones for graduates to stream online. Over the weekend, at Youtube’s Dear Class of 2020 showed many of the most famous celebrities to deliver their commencement speeches to the graduates, having started off with former president and first lady Barack and Michelle Obama.
The Obamas started off the commencement speeches with a joint address to the graduates. The former president started off by congratulating the graduates of 2020, followed by words from the former first lady. “This is a huge day for all of you, and we couldn’t be more excited to be celebrating with you all today. While you may not get the experience of sweating under your cap and gown in the hot sun, or getting embarrassed by your family yelling out your name when you walk across the stage, you still have all those people with you today, just like they’ve been with you on this whole journey,” said Michelle.
Other celebrities who delivered their commencement speeches to the graduates include Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Zendaya, Jennifer Lopez, Demi Lovato, Yara Shahidi, Billy Porter, Katy Perry, Kerry Washington, Lizzo, Alicia Keys, K-Pop group BTS, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and many others.
The former first lady also addressed the ongoing civil unrest sparked by racial injustice and inequality that still remains prevalent today in her commencement speech. Michelle assured the graduates who may be feeling confused and angry all at once that they are not alone. The former first lady continued to note the struggles many Americans have faced during the pandemic, which has now claimed over 112,000 lives. The former first lady also gave some advice and encouragement to the graduates to use their voice and speak up especially in these uncertain times.
Michelle concluded her address by encouraging the graduates to vote or register to vote especially as the November elections draw near so they could really make a difference and push for progress. “Graduates, you all are exactly what we need right now - and for the years and decades to come,” said the former first lady.