NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 05: Oprah Winfrey speaks onstage during Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations at PlayStation Theater on February 05, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for THR)
The coronavirus pandemic has shut down schools across the country for the foreseeable future, meaning graduating seniors won’t get to experience traditional milestones like prom and graduation.
With that in mind, Facebook has stepped up to help bring back some of the excitement associated with those rites of passages to the class of 2020 with a special streaming event.
#Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020 will hit screens on May 15 with the help of famous faces like Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Garner and Miley Cyrus.
The hours-long streaming event will include a commencement address from Winfrey, plus words of wisdom from stars like Garner, Simone Biles, Awkwafina and Lil Nas X.
Cyrus will be on hand as well to perform her hit 2009 song “The Climb,” an ode to strength and perseverance in times of struggle.
The event will broadcast on Facebook Watch, and individual segments from stars will be posted to Instagram’s official Instagram account, as well as on the celebrities’ personal accounts.
And that’s not all — though the main event launches May 15, Facebook is also debuting a series of other fun things for the class of 2020 in the week leading up to it.
Instagram’s official Instagram account will start posting daily programming on May 11 that spotlights notable senior experiences, like senior superlatives and senior skip day.
The platform will also roll out in-app features like a graduation countdown sticker, a celebratory sticker pack, a custom #Graduation2020 hashtag page, and a graduation theme for Music Stickers, where students can find graduation-related songs in one place to easily add to their Stories.
Meanwhile, the Facebook App is also providing resources for graduates and their loved ones so that they can host their own virtual graduation ceremonies and parties.
Schools have been officially closed for the rest of the year in all but eight states, with many tentatively rescheduling graduation ceremonies for a later date, or opting to go virtual.
As of Monday afternoon, there have been at least 977,256 cases and 50,134 deaths attributed to coronavirus in the United States, according to The New York Times.