An astronaut, an Olympic gold medalist and several other athletes and entertainers with ties to Houston are slated to participate in the citywide high school graduation celebration scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 5.
The event, which is being coordinated by the City of Houston and Houston First Corporation, aims to honor the 2020 graduates who cannot have traditional commencement ceremonies because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students from high schools across the city, including those in Houston ISD, are invited to gather on their campuses and watch a video tribute including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and more than 20 celebrities.
According to information posted on visithoustontexas.com, among those lined up for the tribute are astronaut Chris Cassidy, Olympian Simone Biles, rappers 50 Cent and Slim Thug as well as Houston sports stars Carlos Correa of the Astros, James Harden of the Rockets and J.J. Watt of the Texans. Multiple soccer players from the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash also are lined up.
“The 2020 high school senior class has achieved a major milestone during what is certainly one of the nation’s most challenging times in recent history,” Turner said in a statement on visithoustontexas.com. “They have sacrificed and endured, and I am so proud of every one of them. That is why I have asked the city of Houston, along with some extraordinary personalities to come together to honor and encourage these amazing students with a unique and special celebration.”
Turner previously said participating schools will work out details for their personalized campus celebrations while ensuring social distancing. HISD, which includes area high schools Heights, Scarborough, Waltrip and Booker T. Washington, said the students who participate will be required to wear masks as a precaution.
“We can’t wait to celebrate our HISD grads!” the school district said Friday on its Twitter account.
The video tribute will be broadcast on four local television stations and as well as on a series of media websites.
More information, including a complete list of participating celebrities, can be found at visithoustontexas.com/houston-2020-seniors/.