OKLAHOMA CITY, May 6, 2020 - As the graduating Class of 2020, from kindergarten through college, faces interruption in the traditions and ceremonies of graduation due to the global pandemic, the Oklahoma City Thunder will launch a special online program to honor them. The Thunder Grads program will feature an array of online resources including a collection of virtual commencement speeches, led by Thunder All-Star point guard Chris Paul. The Thunder Grads online tools will be made available starting next week on the team's website, okcthunder.com/grads.
"The Class of 2020 will forever share a special bond and the Thunder wants to recognize and honor them in a unique way," said Thunder Vice President of Community Relations Christine Berney. "In most cases they have to miss out or at the very least wait on commencement and other ceremonies. We wanted to bring them the spirit of graduation with important messages as they continue their life journey. This should be a time of excitement and fun for them, and we want to help make that happen."
In addition to Chris Paul’s message, the collection of virtual commencement addresses will include offerings from former Thunder players Nick Collison and Nazr Mohammed, Thunder TV broadcaster Chris Fisher, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, Oklahoma actress and Thunder super fan Kristin Chenoweth, and Dylan Ruiz, a graduating senior from U.S. Grant High School in Oklahoma City, who represents the Class of 2020.
The Thunder Grads program will include online resources for graduates young and old. Thunder mascot Rumble the Bison will offer his own message to the younger grads, along with unique and creative digital ways for students and parents to engage and celebrate. It also will include special video conferencing backgrounds with a Thunder Grads theme and a digital diploma available for posting or printing.
Using #ThunderGrads on social media, graduates of all ages will be invited to offer their photos and experiences to help the Class of 2020, their families and friends connect online and tell their stories.