Missouri State’s Class of 2020 got a very special message this week from a former fellow graduate of the university: Brad Pitt! It goes without saying that the pandemic has affected seniors everywhere, with many having to miss milestone moments in their academic life. So, celebrities like Pitt have been pitching in over the last few weeks to help bring a bit of joy back to graduation to students ending their year under quarantine.
It’s no big surprise that Pitt would choose Missouri State as the recipient of his video message. The Oscar-winning actor has special ties to his alma mater — not only did he attend the university, but he actually grew up in the university’s town of Springfield. To that end, Missouri State took to their social media feeds on Monday to give their seniors a parting gift. “We have one more surprise for our #BearGrads: A special message from one of Springfield’s own.”
Following an intro featuring school president Clif Smart and school mascot Boomer, Pitt took it away. “Hi, everyone. Brad here from quarantine with a shout-out to the graduating class of Missouri State University! It must be very strange doing this in these trying times, but know we’re rooting for you. Our money’s on you to make this world a better place. And we wish you all the best in your future endeavors.”
We have one more surprise for our #BearGrads: A special message from one of Springfield's own.
Thanks, Brad. pic.twitter.com/tCtWgzhozI
— Missouri State (@MissouriState) May 19, 2020
Pitt wrapped up his video message with another quick congrats and a tiny pep talk. “Ya did it! Ya made it,” he said. “Enjoy, congrats again, and think big!”
While graduation this year looks decidedly different, we have reached the time of year when students would typically be walking across stages in caps and gowns to receive their diploma. Since social distancing guidelines mean such large gatherings aren’t possible at the moment, stars are lending their voices to virtual commencement speeches. Pitt is the latest in a growing lineup of examples.
Tom Hanks, who recently recovered from the novel coronavirus, delivered a powerful video speech to Ohio’s Wright State University. Ashton Kutcher gave an online address to the University of Iowa Honors grads. Obama gave two speeches: one for high school seniors, plus one for college seniors.
And Oprah addressed the class of 2020 as part of Facebook’s #Graduation2020 event, summing up the general sentiment best by saying, “Even though there may not be pomp because of our circumstances, never has a graduating class been called to step into the future with more purpose, vision, passion, and energy and hope.”
Before you go, check out some other celebs who had rural upbringings like Pitt.