John Cena is the latest celeb to jump on the pandemic-driven 2020 virtual graduation trend.
The popular WWE superstar and actor — and children’s book author — will kick off the “Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Virtual Graduation Celebration” on Friday, May 1, an event organized by Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Random House Children’s Books to honor America’s Class of 2020 during quarantine.
Cena’s commencement keynote will include a reading from Dr. Seuss’ classic book about the journey of life and will deliver his own words of wisdom to graduating seniors.
Fans can tune in on Cena’s Twitter feed (@JohnCena) at noon ET on May 1 for his opening remarks, and his reading will be available on a dedicated Facebook page for the celebration, where additional readings and remarks will roll out throughout May.
The event is aimed at promoting the 30th anniversary of the release of Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” which, as the publisher points out, is a “perennial graduation gift.”
Also joining the virtual 2020 graduation festivities will be NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who set record for the longest spaceflight by an American with 340 days. The campaign also will feature inspirational quotes from the book on social media, read by John Lithgow, as well as additional promotion from business leaders on LinkedIn sharing their thoughts on “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!,” which was published a year before Theodor Seuss Geisel’s death in 1991.
The Dr. Seuss-themed virtual commencement promo in one of several other celebrity-led graduation events planned over the next few weeks. Facebook on May 15 is hosting a live-streaming event with a keynote from Oprah Winfrey and a music performance by Miley Cyrus, among other guests. On May 16, a primetime graduation special organized by NBA star LeBron James is set to be televised across ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, and streamed on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok and other platforms.
Cena, besides his status as the most popular of the WWE Superstars, is the best-selling author of several kids’ books, including “Elbow Grease” and “Get Out and Play.” His film credits include “Ferdinand” and the “Transformers” spinoff “Bumblebee.”
To promote “Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Virtual Graduation Celebration,” Random House and Dr. Seuss Enterprises are encouraging people to post photos celebrating the Class of 2020 with the hashtag #ohtheplaces2020. For the month of May, the companies will donate one book to not-for-profit reading org First Book for every in-feed post with the hashtag, for up to 20,020 books total.