Thanks to Facebook, Oprah Winfrey will be everyone’s graduation speaker this year.
The tech giant announced on Tuesday that it will host a virtual graduation ceremony for college seniors who are unable to celebrate a traditional ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On May 15, starting at 11 a.m. ET, Facebook will start a multi-hour streaming event on Facebook Watch titled “#Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020.”
In a blog post, Facebook executive Marne Levine wrote:
“This is a bittersweet time for the Class of 2020. As students head toward graduation, it’s not the day they might have imagined — no processions, no diploma handoffs, no parties. They are commencing at a time of great uncertainty. But graduating is a tremendous achievement, and worth pausing to celebrate even in these circumstances. That’s why Facebook has planned a special event on the Facebook app and Instagram.”
As we all know, Winfrey is no stranger to commencements. The media mogul has provided advice to grads in schools across the US ever since, from Harvard in Massachusetts to Agnes Scott College in Georgia.
Together with Winfrey, other celebrities that will be participating in the said event and will dish out some words of wisdom are Awkwafina, Jennifer Garner, Lil Nas X, Simone Biles, and others that are to be announced.
This initiative from Facebook illustrates how major tech companies have barged in to meet needs created by the pandemic and lockdowns around the world — from people leaning to Amazon for ever-more of their shopping needs to relying on communication platforms like Facebook, Zoom, and Houseparty as users communicate with friends and family they can no longer meet face-to-face.
Reports said Facebook and Instagram will soon roll out graduation-themed stickers, filters, and effects for the event, together with ways families and friends can host private virtual celebrations using the new Facebook Rooms feature. Authorities also said Miley Cyrus will be joining the event and will sing her hit, “The Climb.”
Indeed, the coronavirus pandemic has upended graduation season with many schools and universities scaling back, or in some cases, totally canceling traditional graduation ceremonies.