To Give Students The Graduation They Deserve During The COVID-19 Pandemic
iHeartMedia Stations Nationwide To Broadcast Series of On Air Specials Across Multiple Formats Featuring Speeches from the Commencement Podcast Sunday Night, May 17 – National Graduation Day
NEW YORK – May 11, 2020 – iHeartMedia today announced that philanthropists and business leaders Bill and Melinda Gates, singer, songwriter and actor Becky G, actor and gender equality ambassador Freida Pinto, stand-up comedian George Lopez, director and actor Henry Winkler, New York Times bestselling author John Green, Grammy-award winning, Academy-award and Golden Globe nominated Mary J. Blige, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert, actor, producer, singer and songwriter Rita Wilson, acclaimed singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson, rapper and record producer T.I., Apple CEO Tim Cook and Emmy award-winning news anchor Tom Brokaw have joined “Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020” – a one-of-a-kind special podcast event for America’s graduation month featuring commencement addresses from some of the most inspiring and accomplished thought leaders impacting culture today
Previously announced participants in “Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020” include two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA World Cup champion Abby Wambach; cosmetics icon Bobbi Brown; comedian and TV host Chelsea Handler; restaurateur and TV personality David Chang; Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon; NFL football legend Eli Manning; journalist and NPR correspondent Guy Raz; top recording artist Halsey; former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; top recording artist John Legend; award-winning journalist Katie Couric; Grammy-nominated pop star Kesha; DJ Khaled; R&B singer and songwriter Khalid; business leader and Co-CEO of Ariel Investments Mellody Hobson; Coach Mike Krzyzewski; Dr. Oz; international recording artist and business entrepreneur Pitbull; actor Sienna Miller; General Stan McChrystal; MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle; CEO of Epic Records Sylvia Rhone and top country artist Tim McGraw to help celebrate and inspire high school and college graduates of 2020 as they look to the future.
“Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020” will also feature speeches from leading iHeartRadio on air personalities and podcast hosts, including Ryan Seacrest, Enrique Santos, Angie Martinez, Bobby Bones, Jake Brennan, Angela Yee, Woody and J Cruz – each sharing, from the safety of their homes, sage advice, heartfelt stories and words of wisdom aimed at motivating graduates during these unprecedented times.
“The response to ‘Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020’ has been amazing and we’re honored to have the opportunity to add even more of today’s most exciting voices to help inspire new graduates,” said Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network. “It’s amazing how quickly this event has come together thanks to the generosity of so many. We want to thank all our amazing commencement speakers and partners, including Doritos, State Farm and T-Mobile who are helping ensure the Class of 2020 get the commencement advice they deserve in this unusual graduation year. One of the coolest things about this is how each of our partners is jumping in to help graduates in their own way: Thank you to Doritos for providing a platform to high school students missing out on the opportunity to give valedictorian speeches a chance to be included into this podcast through their Valedictorian program and awarding each selected student $50k in tuition assistance. Thank you to State Farm for continuing to be a good neighbor to communities across the nation, including new graduates as they embark on the next stage in their lives and look for a resource to turn to during this milestone. Thank you to T-Mobile for introducing an unprecedented way of celebrating graduates everywhere with a #TossYourCap Challenge on TikTok – stay tuned for more details from the Un-carrier. And of course a huge thank you to our speakers, who have been so generous with their time and energy, giving this year’s graduates the inspiration they deserve.”
While graduates and families are celebrating this important life milestone, the U.S. Census Bureau is partnering with iHeartMedia for “Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020” to remind everyone that responding to the census helps shape your future and that of your community. “Census results inform funding for critical public services including education programs,” explained Michael C. Cook, Sr, Chief of the Public Information Office at the U. S Census Bureau. “Census results are also used by businesses and employers making decisions about where to invest for growth.”
The census counts where everyone in the United States was living on April 1, 2020. It’s easier than ever to respond online, by phone, or by mail. Listeners are encouraged to visit 2020census.gov to learn more about how and where to be counted.
The podcast will publish the speeches on May 15, ahead of “National Graduation Day” (May 17). The speeches will be produced specifically for the podcast, through the iHeartPodcast Network, and are dedicated to all the graduating classes of 2020 who will miss their commencement celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The podcast will be available on iHeartRadio and everywhere podcasts are heard.
In addition, beginning May 15 iHeartMedia’s more than 850 broadcast radio stations across the country will air featured clips from “Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020” every hour, culminating Sunday night with a series of 30 minute on air commencement specials on all music stations and 60 minute specials on all talk stations. The on air commencement specials will broadcast on every station between 7 p.m. and midnight local time and feature multiple speeches from the podcast – taking these inspirational speeches directly to hundreds of millions of graduates nationwide.