WATCH LIVE: Oprah, Miguel Cervantes, Common among guests of star-studded CPS virtual graduation
Oprah Winfrey is giving the commencement address for Sunday’s Chicago Public Schools virtual high school graduation.
With the coronavirus pandemic making it impossible to hold a traditional graduation ceremony for millions of graduates across the U.S., organizers had to get creative with this year’s springtime rite of passage.
To celebrate the achievements of its some 26,000 graduating seniors, Chicago Public Schools called in the bigwigs to help ensure this year’s digital event is just as special and memorable as past ones.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot will be joined Sunday by several Chicago celebrities — including Oprah Winfrey, rapper Common and “Hamilton” star Miguel Cervantes — to honor this year’s graduating class during an hourlong TV special, dubbed “Graduation 2020: For Chicago, By Chicago.”
The virtual graduation, set to start at 1 p.m., will be emceed by Cervantes, a Chicago native, and will include a commencement address from Oprah.
Many other big-name athletes are set to make appearances at what will be the first-ever citywide graduation, according to the mayor’s office, including Kris Bryant, Jason Heyward and Kyle Schwarber from the Cubs; Tim Anderson from the White Sox; the Bears’ Charles Leno Jr.; Blackhawks star Patrick Kane; the Sky’s Diamond DeShields and Cheyenne Parker; and the Bulls’ Daniel Gafford.
There will also be “after-party” appearances by DJ Khaled, Ellie King, X Ambassadors, “Jagged Little Pill” musicians, The Second City, Thomas Rhett, Andy Grammer and Louis the Child.
CPS students have been remote-learning since Gov. J.B. Pritzker closed schools statewide in March to try to limit the spread of COVID-19.