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Tim Cook joins celebrities recording commencement speech podcasts

Apple CEO Tim Cook is to be one of dozens of high-profile business people and celebrities contributing podcast recordings for the "Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020" program.

Apple CEO Tim Coo

A special program of podcasts to be released on May 17, National Graduation Day, is to add Tim Cook to a roster of what organizers iHeartMedia describe as "the most inspiring and accomplished thought leaders impacting culture today."

"The response to 'Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020' has been amazing and we're honored to have the opportunity to add even more of today's most exciting voices to help inspire new graduates," said Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network, in a statement.

"It's amazing how quickly this event has come together thanks to the generosity of so many," he continued. "We want to thank all our amazing commencement speakers... who have been so generous with their time and energy, giving this year's graduates the inspiration they deserve."

The details of Tim Cook's contribution have yet to be announced, but the "Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020" program is to be a series of podcasts offered up for students currently unable to attend their high school and colleges because of the coronavirus.

From the world of technology, Tim Cook joins Bill and Melinda Gates, and T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert, in a program that ranges across business, arts, and sport. Other participants added alongside Cook include Mary J. Blige, Smokey Robinson, and actor Henry Winkler.

Previously announced contributors include Hillary Clinton, actor Sienna Miller, country star Tim McGraaw, and Olympic gold medalist Abby Wambach.

Alongside actual commencement speeches, certain companies are supporting the program financially or through technology. "Thank you to T-Mobile for introducing an unprecedented way of celebrating graduates everywhere with a #TossYourCap Challenge on TikTok," said Byrne, "stay tuned for more details."

"One of the coolest things about this is how each of our partners is jumping in to help graduates in their own way," he added. "Thank you to Doritos for providing a platform to high school students missing out on the opportunity to give valedictorian speeches a chance to be included into this podcast through their Valedictorian program and awarding each selected student $50k in tuition assistance."

While Apple is not listed as contributing beyond Tim Cook's speech, the company has previously been reported as considering supporting organizing firm iHeartMedia with investment.