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‘Go big and celebrate’: Life is Good founders plan star-studded virtual commencement

Bert and John Jacobs, cofounders of the Life is Good company, will host a virtual commencement for graduates on May 7, 2020.Life Is Good

The Jacobs brothers are hoping to highlight some of the good in life as we know it. Life is Good, the Boston-based lifestyle and apparel brand founded by Bert and John Jacobs, will host a virtual commencement ceremony next month to celebrate the Class of 2020.

Bert Jacobs will host the virtual event on May 7 at 7 p.m. live on the Life is Good Facebook page and John Jacobs will deliver the commencement address to honor graduates and spread a little optimism and good cheer. John Jacobs said he hopes to focus his speech on growth and fulfillment amid uncertainty. The ceremony will include performances by folk-rock band The Avett Brothers, musician Michael Franti, and poet and songwriter In-Q.


The Avett Brothers, onstage at the Boston Calling music festival on City Hall Plaza in 2015.Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

“We want to go big and celebrate these resilient optimists in a way that feels worthy of the unprecedented situation they’re facing, while also finding a way to share the lessons they’ve learned,” John Jacobs said in an e-mail statement. “The best way we know how is with open ears, positive energy, humor, love, and some of the greatest artists on the planet.”

After high schools and colleges canceled in-person graduation ceremonies across the country, the Jacobs brothers reached out to graduates via social media and gathered stories. Inspired by these tales of transition, Life is Good will release a new line of T-shirts in honor of the 2020 graduates, including one that dubs them " ‘virtually’ the greatest class of all time."

The live stream will recognize high school and college graduates and be open for anyone to tune in. For every viewer up to 20,000, the company will donate $1 to the Life is Good Kids Foundation to benefit front-line health care workers and educators working with children facing trauma.

Grace Griffin can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @GraceMGriffin.