Microsoft president, Brad Smith, will address graduates as the keynote speaker for Bellevue College’s first-ever virtual commencement ceremony that will be streamed online Friday, June 19.

“The coming decade will offer us all the opportunity to help solve some of life’s biggest challenges. It will require inventors, people of curiosity, people with a passion to help other people, which describes so many at Bellevue College,” Smith said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to honoring this class which has shown great resilience and adaptability in this tumultuous time, and sharing my thoughts on how we can all work towards a better future for all.”

In his role as president, Smith plays a role in spearheading the company’s work on critical issues involving the intersection of technology and society, including cybersecurity, privacy, artificial intelligence, human rights, immigration, philanthropy, and environmental sustainability.

“We’re very excited to have Brad Smith as our keynote speaker,” Dr. Kristen Jones, Bellevue College’s acting president, said in a statement. “Our graduates have faced and overcome tremendous challenges in attaining their degrees this year, and I think Brad’s participation in our virtual celebration speaks to the pride that Microsoft, and our entire Bellevue community, has in their remarkable achievement.”

Bellevue College expects to award 2,497 bachelor’s and associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas to 2,315 students. About 1,881 of this year’s graduating class will be comprised of graduates who will receive associate degrees. Approximately 1,233 students are expected to graduate with distinction (3.5 grade-point average or higher).