UPDATE 5/11/2020: iHeartMedia has expanded the lineup for Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020, adding Bill and Melinda Gates, Tim Cook, Smokey Robinson, Becky G, Freida Pinto, George Lopez, Henry Winkler, John Green, Mary J. Blige, Mike Sievert, Rita Wilson, T.I., and Tom Brokaw.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, iHeartMedia has announced a new project and podcast titled Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020. The campaign will feature prerecorded commencement speeches from Jimmy Fallon, Hillary Clinton, Eli Manning, John Legend, Halsey, Kesha, DJ Khaled, Pitbull, Khalid, Tim McGraw, Chelsea Handler, and others.
The podcast is dedicated to all of the graduating classes of 2020 that will miss commencement ceremonies due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The series will publish all the speeches on May 15th, ahead of National Graduation Day on May 17th. Each speech will be produced specifically for iHeartMedia, appearing on the podcast as well broadcast on iHeart Radio stations around the country.
“Because so many schools and colleges have moved to online learning to ensure the safety of their students, many graduates are missing their commencement ceremonies, traditionally such significant milestones in their lives,” Conal Byrne, president of the iHeartPodcast Network, said. “High school and college seniors are always in need of inspiration, reassurance, and life advice as they head into the next chapter of their lives, and that is especially true this year. Speeches for the Class Of 2020 brings together some of the most-experienced and inspiring people in the country today to celebrate the resilience, strength, and accomplishments of this year’s graduates. These are the speakers our graduates would have had at their real-world ceremonies if not for current circumstances, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring them together through this podcast.”