From Oprah Winfrey to Tom Hanks: All the Celebrities Stepping Up for the Class of 2020

From livestreamed proms to virtual commencement speeches, celebrities are coming together to celebrate the Class of 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

By Billy Nilles May 06, 2020 6:00 AMTags
Watch: Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson Return to U.S. After COVID-19 Diagnosis

It's not business as normal for the Class of 2020.

As we head deeper into May, a time when graduating seniors in both high school and college should be looking forward to, in the case of the former, attending prom and, for all, receiving those long-awaited diplomas, students across the globe are being forced to reckon with the sad reality that such milestone events just aren't a possibility amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

With social distancing measures making such events a public health risk, what should be a momentous rite of passage stands the risk of, sadly, just becoming another day. 

Luckily, celebrities everywhere are rising to the occasion and being of service, hoping to help the Class of 2020 make good memories of their own. Different memories, sure, but good ones, just the same. Over the last few weeks, stars like John Krasinski, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks, LeBron James, Dua Lipa and so many more have joined together to throw virtual proms and plan virtual graduation ceremonies with commencement speeches from some of Hollywood's elite.

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To see who all has rallied to make this a time the Class of 2020 will never forget, be sure to read on!

Getty Images; Melissa Herwitt/E! Illustration
Barack and Michelle Obama

The former President and First Lady will each deliver commencement speeches, as well as provide a heartfelt joint message, as a part of YouTube's "Dear Class of 2020" virtual commencement celebration premiering Saturday, June 6. Additionally, the former POTUS will also deliver a commencement speech during Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020, a one-hour televised special airing across all major networks on Saturday, May 16.

BTS

Not only will the K-pop kings deliver a commencement address during YouTube's "Dear Class of 2020" celebration, but they're also headlining a special Grad Night party on the website.

Lady Gaga

The pop diva will also provide a special commencement speech during YouTube's "Dear Class of 2020."

Malala Yousafzai

The youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate will also deliver a speech during YouTube's "Dear Class of 2020" special.

Condolezza Rice

The former Secretary of State will also deliver a speech during YouTube's "Dear Class of 2020" special.

Zendaya

The Euphoria star is scheduled to make an appearance during YouTube's "Dear Class of 2020" special.

Chloe X Halle

The musical wunderkinds and Grown-ish stars are scheduled to make an appearance during YouTube's "Dear Class of 2020" special.

Kerry Washington

The Little Fires Everywhere star is scheduled to make an appearance during YouTube's "Dear Class of 2020" special.

Alicia Keys

The "Underdog" singer is scheduled to make a special appearance during YouTube's "Dear Class of 2020" special.

Kelly Rowland

The former Destiny's Child member will make a special appearance during YouTube's "Dear Class of 2020" special.

John Krasinski

Via his new YouTube series Some Good News, the Jack Ryan star has hosted both a virtual prom and virtual graduation ceremony for outgoing seniors who've lost out on the seminal moments due to COVID-19. While Billie Eilish and the Jonas Brothers surprised during the prom, his graduation ceremony saw appearances from Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jon Stewart and Malala Yousafzai.

LeBron James

The NBA superstar has partnered with Laurene Powell Jobs' XQ Institute and the Entertainment Industry Foundation for the one-hour special Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020. Airing commercial-free on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, as well entertainment and social media streaming platforms, on Saturday, May 16, the special will feature a commencement address from former President Barack Obama, as well as appearances from Malala Yousafzai, the Jonas Brothers, Yara Shahidi, Bad Bunny, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams, Megan Rapinoe, H.E.R., Ben Platt and others.

The Jonas Brothers

Not only did Nick, Joe and Kevin join John Krasinski for his virtual prom in early April, but they'll also be taking part in the Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020 special on Saturday, May 16.

Billie Eilish

The "Bad Guy" superstar joined John Krasinski in early April for a virtual prom for high schoolers.

Eva Longoria

The Desperate Housewives star is teaming up with Her Campus for an event dubbed "#ImStillGraduating that will be held on Friday, May 15. Liam Payne, Tamron Hall, Andrew Yang, Margaret Cho, Rebecca Minkoff and more stars will be participating as well.

Oprah Winfrey

Not only did the media mogul surprise a college graduate during John Krasinski's recent episode of his YouTube series Some Good News, but she's set to deliver a commencement address during #Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020, which will be broadcast live on Friday, May 15 on Facebook Watch.

Miley Cyrus

The pop star is scheduled to perform her hit "The Climb" during #Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020, broadcast on Facebook Watch in its entirety.

Simone Biles

The Olympic gymnast will make an appearance during #Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020, broadcast on Facebook Watch in its entirety.

Lil Nas X

The "Old Town Road" artist is scheduled to make an appearance during #Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020, broadcast on Facebook Watch in its entirety.

Jennifer Garner

The beloved star will make an appearance during #Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020, broadcast on Facebook Watch in its entirety.

Awkwafina

The Crazy Rich Asians star will also be on hand to offer some words of wisdom during #Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020, broadcast on Facebook Watch in its entirety.

John Cena

The WWE legend teamed with Random House Children's Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises for a virtual grad celebration that involved him reading the beloved book Oh, the Places You'll Go!, a traditional graduation gift over the years, on May 1.

Ryan Reynolds

The Deadpool superstar delivered a virtual commencement address for the graduating class of his high school, Kitsilano Secondary School in Vancouver, and gifted every outgoing senior one large pizza at local pie shop Nat's Pizzeria.

Ryan Seacrest

On May 1, the American Idol host served as emcee for the L.A.-based KIIS FM's Virtual Prom, with appearances from Joe Jonas, Dillon Francis, Diplo, Megan Thee Stalliion and Dua Lipa.

Ellen DeGeneres

The hilarious talk show host honored the Class of 2020 with a commencement speech of her own, delivered during the May 4 episode of her eponymous talk show.

Dua Lipa

The "Physical" singer will co-host the first ever iHeartRadio Prom on May 8 alongside KIIS FM's JoJo Wright. The four-hour event will feature DJ sets from Marshmello, Diplo, Dillon Francis, Martin Garrix, Loud Luxury and will.i.am, a special performance from Lewis Capaldi, singing hit hit "Before You Go" for the slow-dance portion of the evening, and speeches from John Legend, Noah Cyrus, Sabrina Carpenter and Sofia Carson, among others.

Jimmy Fallon

The host of The Tonight Show is one of many who will record a commencement speech for the Class of 2020 as a part of iHeartMedia's podcast event Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020, which will publish on May 15.

Hilary Clinton

The former Secretary of State is one of many who will record a commencement speech for the Class of 2020 as a part of iHeartMedia's podcast event Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020, which will publish on May 15.

Khalid

The pop sensation is one of many who will record a commencement speech for the Class of 2020 as a part of iHeartMedia's podcast event Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020, which will publish on May 15.

Sienna Miller

The actress is one of many who will record a commencement speech for the Class of 2020 as a part of iHeartMedia's podcast event Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020, which will publish on May 15.

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View More Photos From All the Celebrities Stepping Up for the Class of 2020 With Virtual Proms and Commencement Speeches
For the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic and for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov. TO plan your vaccine, head to NBC's Plan Your Vaccine site at PlanYourVaccine.com. Don't miss NBC's Roll Up Your Sleeves vaccination special airing Sunday, April 18 at 7 p.m.