The coronavirus pandemic is upending all of our lives — but for graduating seniors who expected to don caps and gowns next month and accept their diplomas in front of friends and family, this new reality of social distancing and self-quarantining is especially apparent. We still don't know when the current state of things will begin to change, and beyond that, when we can safely return to attending crowded events like graduation ceremonies. But that doesn't mean celebrating needs to stop. It just has to look a little bit different. As such, at 2 p.m. ET on May 15, Facebook and Instagram will be hosting #Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020, a multi-hour live-streamed graduation ceremony hosted by Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak.
Oprah will deliver the commencement address, with additional speeches from Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, Awkwafina, and more to be announced. Miley Cyrus will be performing the very apt "The Climb," as well. You can watch the proceedings on Facebook Watch and facebook.com/facebookapp, with individual videos on @instagram and on contributors' Instagram accounts.
Leading up to May 15, Instagram will be hosting more virtual graduation programming, including senior superlatives, portrait showcases, and senior skip day. At @instagram, tonight is Senior Night For Athletes, and tomorrow will be Senior Comedy Day with a virtual standup show. The app will also incorporate tools like a graduation countdown sticker, a celebratory sticker pack, new AR effects, and a hashtag page for #Graduation2020. Facebook will also provide tools for users who want to host their own virtual graduation ceremonies and festivities, like a virtual graduation hub and custom filters.
And Facebook isn't the only virtual platform to host senior events. Her Campus will be hosting a virtual graduation ceremony on May 15 as well on Imstillgraduating.com, featuring speeches and performances by Eva Longoria, Tamron Hall, Billie Jean King, Andrew Yang, Saweetie, Margaret Cho, and more.