Actor Tom Hanks has a special message for the Skyline High Class of 2020

Matthew Tom, SFGATE

Updated

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The Skyline High School Class of 2020 wasn’t able to have a normal graduation ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that didn’t mean it couldn’t be special.

Perhaps the school’s most famous alumnus, two-time Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks, had a special message for the graduates during Skyline High’s virtual commencement ceremony Friday.

“Somewhere out of the fate of every high schooler, you guys were picked to graduate this year, in the year 2020, to start off this next chapter of your lives in the face and in the midst of so much change,” Hanks said. “Good luck to you. I’d like to think that just as Skyline High School provided me with a direction and an instinct to follow, the same has happened for you.

“Follow those instincts. And always understand that you have been chosen by fate to lead the way in whatever our post-pandemic world is going to be. Make it a great one, would you? We’re all relying on you.”

Hanks also posted a throw-back photo on Twitter earlier Friday.

Big Day for Skyline High School in Oakland, CA! Glad to be a part of it! Hanx, ‘74. pic.twitter.com/XWna7mdiYa

— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) May 22, 2020

Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson both know first-hand the effects of the coronavirus, as both contracted the virus while they were in Australia for pre-production of Baz Luhrmann’s untitled Elvis Presley film from Warner Bros.

Hanks also hosted “Saturday Night Live’s” first virtual show while recovering from COVID-19.

  • Actor Tom Hanks hosts Saturday Night Live's first virtual episode, which was filmed remotely from the cast and crew's homes. Photo: Saturday Night Live/NBC

    Actor Tom Hanks hosts Saturday Night Live’s first virtual episode, which was filmed remotely from the cast and crew’s homes.

    Actor Tom Hanks hosts Saturday Night Live’s first virtual episode, which was filmed remotely from the cast and crew’s homes.

    Photo: Saturday Night Live/NBC

Photo: Saturday Night Live/NBC

Actor Tom Hanks hosts Saturday Night Live’s first virtual episode, which was filmed remotely from the cast and crew’s homes.

Actor Tom Hanks hosts Saturday Night Live’s first virtual episode, which was filmed remotely from the cast and crew’s homes.

Photo: Saturday Night Live/NBC

“Why me as host?” he asked an invisible audience. “Well, for one, I have been the celebrity canary in the coal mine for the coronavirus. And ever since being diagnosed I have been more like America’s dad than ever before, since no one wants to be around me very long and I make people uncomfortable.”

Wearing a suit, he also joked, “This is the first time I’ve worn anything other than sweatpants since March 11.”

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