Facebook, iHeartRadio bringing 2020 commencement speeches online

Facebook’s ‘#Graduation2020’ and iHeartRadio’s new podcast ‘Commencement’ will debut on May 15. 

By Will Pankey


Graduation is a momentous occasion for any person who perseveres through college, university, or high school. It’s a joyous opportunity to wear a hot gown, put on a floppy hat and, in many cases, sit hungover somewhere outside while a speaker on a podium yards away administers crusty advice on the benefits of failing or something. 

Well, with coronavirus sweeping the nation, all that is gone. Poof. Instead, colleges and organizations have taken graduations online or, in some cases, to podcasts. Earlier this month, iHeartRadio announced the launch of “Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020,” a new podcast that gathers heartfelt speeches from thinkers, leaders, athletes, and DJ Khaled.  

The podcast will debut on May 15 ahead of National Graduation Day on May 17. Participants in the podcast include Abby Wambach, Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Handler, David Chang, Eli Manning, Jimmy Fallon, John Legend, Katie Couric, Khalid, Ryan Seacrest, and more. Check out the full confirmed list over at iHeartRadio

Not to be outdone, Facebook has organized “#Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020.” Taking place on May 15 at 11AM PT/2PM ET, “#Graduation2020” will feature speeches from Oprah Winfrey, Awkwafina, Jennifer Garner, Lil Nas X, and Simone Biles. Additionally, Miley Cyrus will hop on the livestream to perform her single, “The Climb”. 

So turn on “Pomp and Circumstance,” fire up “Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020” wherever you listen to podcasts, and get ready to walk the stage (at home, preferably with a mask).