Houston Independent School District graduating seniors will gather outdoors on their high school campuses in their caps and gowns on Friday, June 5 at 6:30 p.m. to celebrate during a citywide event spearheaded by Mayor Sylvester Turner in collaboration with HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan.

The celebration will feature pre-recorded video tributes from national and local celebrities from the world of music, sports, food and fashion. Houston First Corporation is partnering with the City of Houston for the event.

“This is a great opportunity for our seniors to enjoy a special occasion in recognition of their hard work, accomplishments and perseverance during the pandemic,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said.

Celebrities scheduled to deliver videotaped tributes include astronaut Chris Cassidy, actress Chandra Wilson, Houston Texans player JJ Watt, Astros player Carlos Correa, fashion designer Chloe Dao, MasterChef winner Christine Ha, Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and rappers 50 Cent and Slim Thug.

Defender invites graduating high school and college seniors to be spotlighted

“The 2020 high school senior class has sacrificed and endured, and I am so proud of every one of them,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “That is why I have asked some extraordinary personalities to come together to honor and encourage these amazing students.”

The celebration will take place outdoors simultaneously on HISD high school campuses and in four other area school districts. Strict health, safety and social distancing measures including the wearing of masks will be required. To maintain appropriate social distancing, the event will be attended by students and faculty only. Family members will not be able to accompany their students. Student attendance is optional.

This event is an opportunity for students to be recognized for successfully completing their high school careers and persevering during the pandemic. Behavior that violates the student code of conduct and disrupts the celebration will not be allowed. Extra staff and officers will be present at each campus to help maintain order and safety for the benefit of all students and staff.

The ceremony is not a commencement, and no diplomas will be issued to students during the celebration.

The event may be viewed on local TV stations and heard on several radio stations. More information may be found at: www.visithoustontexas.com/houston-2020-seniors/.