NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City is hosting a star-studded virtual graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 Tuesday amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza say the graduation will bring the entire city together in celebration of the accomplishments and bright future of the students.
It will feature student spotlights, musical performances, and special guest speakers -- including award-winning artist and former New York City Public School student and teacher Lin-Manuel Miranda. De Blasio also announced Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez would be the keynote speakers.
"Jennifer and Alex are great New Yorkers," he said. "They've inspired young people throughout their careers, and we're thrilled they're stepping up to inspire our 2020 graduates. Our seniors persevered through extraordinary challenges this year, and I thank Jennifer and Alex for giving them a sendoff to remember."
The program will feature:
--A musical performance from Brooklyn's Phony Ppl as well as student musical performances
--Guest speakers including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Pitbull, Kenan Thompson, Nick Kroll, Angela Yee, Tina Fey, Andy Cohen, and more
--A special valedictorian speech
--Contributions from family members and educators
"Graduating high school under normal circumstances is an extraordinary accomplishment, but I am especially impressed by the Class of 2020 and all they have been through to get to this point," de Blasio said. "In this time of great upheaval and many challenges, they will be leading the way to create a fairer, safer future for all. I could not be more proud to celebrate them with this special sendoff."
The COVID-19 crisis disrupted the traditional celebrations honoring the accomplishments and hard work of graduates, and this special program will be broadcast to all of New York in recognition of all the Class of 2020 has achieved.
"Congratulations to the amazing Class of 2020," Carranza said. "There's never been a New York City graduating class like yours. There's never been a senior year like this. As chancellor of all New York City Public Schools, and on behalf of all 150,000 staff who make our schools run, I am so proud of you."
The graduation celebration will be livestreamed at 7 p.m. on the DOE's and city's social media channels, as well as at NYCclassof2020.com/.
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