In an effort to celebrate the city's high school seniors who will not have a traditional graduation this spring because of the COVID-10 pandemic, Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, in partnership with Citadel, announced she will host Chicago's first-ever, virtual citywide high school commencement celebration in mid-June.
Longtime Chicagoan and global icon Oprah Winfrey will give the commencement address at the virtual event.
"We are thrilled and honored to have the one-and-only Oprah Winfrey joining us for this incredible moment with Chicago's high school seniors," 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. 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."
This commencement is intended to celebrate every high school senior in Chicago, including those from Chicago Public Schools, charter schools, Catholic schools and all other private schools across the city. The ceremony will include speeches, performances, and a wide array of elements that will feature student achievements and experiences.
The details of the virtual graduation will be determined by a working group of representatives from various Chicago schools, and the exact date will be announced in a few weeks.