News, Culture & Society

Oprah Winfrey salutes the ‘pandemic class’ of 2020 in commencement speech on Facebook

Oprah Winfrey provided a calming presence Friday as she delivered an inspiring commencement speech to the graduating class of 2020.

The 66-year-old media mogul addressed students virtually via a five-minute Facebook livestream.

In addition to her speech, dozens of other celebrities had uplifting messages for students facing an uncertain future amid the coronavirus pandemic, including Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Garner, Cardi B, Selena Gomez and many more. 

Virtual graduation: Oprah Winfrey, 66, provided a calming presence Friday as the delivered an inspiring commencement speech to the graduating class of 2020 via Facebook

‘I know you may not feel like it, but you are indeed the chosen class for such a time as this, the class of 2020,’ Winfrey said as she tried to boost spirits.

‘You’re also a united class, the pandemic class that has the entire world striving to graduate with you,’ she continued, asking graduates to consider what their ‘essential service’ in this world would be.

‘Of course, this is not the graduation ceremony you envisioned. But even though there may not be pomp because of our circumstances, never has a graduating class been called to step into the future with more purpose and vision, passion and energy and hope,’ she said, before adding that she was honored to join the bevy of celebrities participating in the commencement.

Brought together: 'You¿re also a united class, the pandemic class that has the entire world striving to graduate with you,' she said in her five-minute speech

Brought together: ‘You’re also a united class, the pandemic class that has the entire world striving to graduate with you,’ she said in her five-minute speech

Plan ahead: Winfrey urged students to learn from the pandemic to create a better future with defenses against such a disaster. 'Can you use this disorder that COVID-19 has wrought? Can you greet it as an uninvited guest that¿s come into our midst to reorder our way of being?'

Plan ahead: Winfrey urged students to learn from the pandemic to create a better future with defenses against such a disaster. ‘Can you use this disorder that COVID-19 has wrought? Can you greet it as an uninvited guest that’s come into our midst to reorder our way of being?’

The talk show host urged students to learn from the ongoing pandemic to engineer a better future, one with better defenses against such a disaster.

‘Can you use this disorder that COVID-19 has wrought? Can you greet it as an uninvited guest that’s come into our midst to reorder our way of being?’ she urged.

‘Can you, the class of 2020, show us not how to put the pieces back together again, but how to create and more new and more evolved normal?’ she continued. ‘A world more just, kind, beautiful, tender, luminous, creative, whole.’

‘This moment is your invitation to use your education to begin to heal our afflictions by applying the best of what you’ve learned in your head and what you’ve felt in your heart.’

Winfrey also turned her attention to frontline healthcare providers and essential workers battle to keep society function amid the pandemic. 

During the speech Oprah asked, 'What will your essential service be?'

During the speech Oprah asked, ‘What will your essential service be?’

Recognizing sacrifices: She also saluted essential workers. 'We are all here because they, at great and profound risk, are still providing their essential service,' she added

Recognizing sacrifices: She also saluted essential workers. ‘We are all here because they, at great and profound risk, are still providing their essential service,’ she added

‘The deepest self-care is at once caring for the human family. And we see this so clearly with essential workers,’ she said. ‘Look who turns out to be essential: teachers, your teachers, healthcare workers, the people stocking grocery shelves, the cashiers, truck drivers, food providers, those who are caring for your grandparents, those who are cleaning where we work and shop and carry out our daily lives.

‘We are all here because they, at great and profound risk, are still providing their essential service,’ she added.

The occasional actress urged students to focus on the essential services they would provide in the future.

‘My hope is that you will harness your education, your creativity and your valor, your voice, your vote reflecting on all that you’ve witnessed and hungered for, all that you know to be true and use it to create more equity, more justice and more joy in the world,’ she said, before calling on graduates, ‘To be the class that commenced a new way forward. The class of 2020. Bravo.’

Old school: The Climb, which was originally featured in Hannah Montana: The Movie and became a top 10 hit in 2009

Old school: The Climb, which was originally featured in Hannah Montana: The Movie and became a top 10 hit in 2009

Having a blast: Both Jennifer Garner and Cardi B lifted moods with their usually bubbly personalities

Having a blast: Both Jennifer Garner and Cardi B lifted moods with their usually bubbly personalities

Having a blast: Both Jennifer Garner and Cardi B lifted moods with their usually bubbly personalities

Oprah was one of the most high-profile guests joining the Facebook commencement celebrations, but students were also treated to a performance of Miley Cyrus’ song The Climb, which was originally featured in Hannah Montana: The Movie and became a top 10 hit in 2009.

Both Jennifer Garner and Cardi B lifted moods with their usually bubbly personalities.

Other singers and musicians, including John Mayer, Selena Gomez and DJ Khalid delivered impassioned comments, though they saved the tunes for later. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.