CHICAGO (CBS) — Oprah Winfrey will be delivering a virtual commencement address for all 2020 high school seniors in Chicago, as the coronavirus precludes them from having a traditional graduation, the Mayor’s office announced Thursday.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, in partnership with Citadel, announced Thursday that she will host the first ever virtual citywide high school commencement celebration in mid-June. She celebrated it by dancing on TikTok.
— Mayor Lightfoot #StayHomeSaveLives (@chicagosmayor) April 30, 2020
“We are thrilled and honored to have the one-and-only Oprah Winfrey joining us for this incredible moment with Chicago’s high school seniors,” Mayor Lightfoot said in a news release. “The times we are living in are historic and stunning, forcing us all to take a deep look at who we are as a people and our place in the world. No one knows this better than Oprah, and I join all of Chicago in looking forward to hearing the wisdom she’ll be sharing with our incredible young people as they take this unforgettable next step on their life’s journey.”
The Mayor’s office noted that while the coronavirus pandemic has been difficult for many groups and institutions, Chicago’s high school classes of 2020 deserve recognition for their hard work through four years of high school.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has touched every Chicagoan over the last few months, from lives lost to livelihoods severely impacted to planned experiences that had to be cancelled and that cannot be replaced,” Mayor Lightfoot said in the release. “While we can’t recreate these in-person memories, I feel strongly that we need to recognize and celebrate the achievements of our many high school seniors in Chicago.”
The commencement celebrates every high school senior in Chicago – including those who attend Chicago Public Schools, charter schools, private schools, and parochial schools.
In addition to Winfrey’s commencement address, the virtual ceremony will also feature speeches, performances, and other mean of honoring student achievements.
The final details and the exact date are to be announced. All Chicagoans are invited to log on.