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Oprah Is Chicago’s Class Of 2020 Graduation Speaker, Will Celebrate With Virtual Commencement

The ceremony is set for mid-June and will celebrate every CPS high school senior.

Oprah Winfrey will serve as CPS class of 2020's commencement speaker.
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DOWNTOWN — Chicago Public Schools’ class of 2020 will celebrate graduation virtually, with Oprah Winfrey as their commencement speaker.

The ceremony is set for mid-June and will celebrate every high school senior in the city. It will feature speeches, performances and celebrations of students’ achievements.

An exact date and further details on the virtual graduation will be announced in a few weeks. All residents are invited to view the ceremony.

High school graduation is an experience that “cannot be replaced,” but many have been threatened or canceled by the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement.

“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,” Lightfoot said. “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.”

Lightfoot celebrated the new citywide virtual graduation by dancing to K Camp’s “Lottery (Renegade) on her new TikTok account.

“The meaning of graduation is more profound than a physical stage,” Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson said. “We know we can’t fully replace the special milestones lost during this unprecedented crisis, but our seniors deserve to be celebrated for their hard work and we look forward to coming together to honor our seniors during this special occasion.”

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