The 2020 commencement ceremony at the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA will have a very special guest speaker on June 19. On Tuesday (June 9) the school announced that its virtual celebration will feature Grammy-winning Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Carlos Santana.

In a statement about the event, the school’s inaugural dean, Eileen L. Stempel, said that Santana’s “inclusive global sound and commitment to social justice are emblematic of our school’s core values,” adding, “I am deeply moved by his desire to share words of inspiration and encouragement with our graduates during this important time.”

“I feel honored to be speaking to young musicians and a new generation of music scholars,” Santana said in a statement. “The class of 2020 is resilient and their voices are needed now more than ever. I want them to use their music as a platform to empower and unite as we seek justice and creative solutions during these challenging times.”

The 2020 commencement will take place online on June 19 at 4:00 p.m. PDT; it will also include music and remarks by graduating students and a performance by the Herbie Hancock Institute for Jazz Performance at UCLA.

This year’s graduating class at the school will feature 130 graduates from the departments of ethnomusicology, global jazz studies, music, music industry and musicology.

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