Virtual graduation features Hamilton star Miguel Cervantes, commencement address by Oprah Winfrey, and celebrity appearances including award-winning hip-hop artist Common; special to air Sunday, June 14 at 1:00 p.m. CDT on television and radio stations across Chicago and stream online
CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced the lineup of Chicago and national celebrities who have come together to celebrate and pay tribute to the over 35,000 graduating high school seniors across Chicago. “Graduation 2020: For Chicago. By Chicago.” is a live, commercial-free 60-minute ceremony hosted and co-created by the City of Chicago and Citadel to recognize the achievements and tenacity of the Class of 2020. This first-of-its-kind citywide virtual graduation will feature Chicago’s “Hamilton” star Miguel Cervantes as emcee and a keynote commencement address by Oprah Winfrey. The show airs Sunday, June 14, from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. CDT on select stations throughout the Chicagoland area.
“This is an incredible opportunity to give the graduates of 2020 the celebration they deserve” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Completing high school is a momentous occasion and while this year’s graduation ceremony might not be what they expected, this is an opportunity to send our students off in style.”
The star-studded lineup will deliver tributes and well-wishes to all Chicago’s graduating seniors. Among the featured performances, Chicago native and “The Voice” finalist Katie Kadan will join students to perform the national anthem, and Chicago’s hometown Emmy®, Grammy® and Academy Award® -winning hip-hop recording artist Common will deliver an original opening dedication to the 2020 graduates.
Additional appearances range from student performances to local leaders, celebrities and sports stars. Those joining Mayor Lightfoot to celebrate the graduates include Illinois Governor JB Pritzker; CEO of Chicago Public Schools Janice Jackson, EdD; CEO of My Block, My Hood, My City Jahmal Cole; Chicago sports stars including Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane; Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant, Jason Heyward and Kyle Schwarber; Chicago White Sox’s Tim Anderson; Chicago Bulls’ Daniel Gafford; Chicago Bears’ Charles Leno; and Chicago Sky’s Diamond Deshields and Cheyenne Parker. The after-show will also include appearances from Chicago and national performers, musicians and celebrities including the Second City, DJ Khaled, Ellie King, Jagged Little Pill musical performers, Thomas Rhett, Andy Grammer, Louis the Child and X Ambassadors.
The virtual graduation ceremony has been produced in partnership with ABC7/WLS-TV Chicago and ABC’s Localish digital network and will be broadcast on major local TV and radio stations throughout Chicago, including ABC7, NBC5, CBS2, WGN-TV, WCIU-TV, WTTW, FOX32, Univision Chicago (WGBO-TV), and streaming live on the ABC Localish Network. WBEZ Chicago will air portions of the graduation celebration on 91.5 FM and stream it live on WBEZ.org. The ceremony will be provided in closed captioning as well as in Spanish on Univision Chicago (WGBO-TV). The City of Chicago will also provide a live-stream feed on Mayor Lightfoot’s social media channels including Facebook and Twitter. For more information, visit chicagograd2020.com.