Jimmy Fallon Surprises Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Seniors At Graduation
Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon was the surprise commencement speaker for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s Class of 2018 graduation. The high school saw 17 student and faculty deaths this February at a shooting in their school in Parkland, Florida.
The ceremony was held in BB&T Center, where the Florida Panthers NHL team plays, due to the expectation of a large crowd. Fallon thanked the seniors for their “courage” and “bravery” during the tragic events their school faced. He also mentioned meeting some of the students in Washington D.C. during the March For Our Lives rally. Graduating seniors have made national news for their activism, including the school’s LGBT club president Emma Gonzalez.
The four seniors who died in the shooting, including Nicholas Dworet, Joaquin Oliver, Meadow Pollack and Carmen Schentrup, were honored on Sunday as their families accepted their diplomas for them.
“Most commencement speakers, they’ll get up here and talk in the future tense. ‘You will succeed. You will make us proud. And you will change the world,'” Fallon said. “Most commencement speakers say, ‘You are the future.’ But I’m not gonna say that, because you’re not the future. You’re the present.”
He then acknowledged the awareness and push for gun control their activism created throughout the world.
“You took something horrific and instead of letting it stop you, you started a movement,” Fallon continued. “Not just here in Florida and not just in America, but throughout the whole world. That was you, choosing to take something awful and using it to make a change. That was you, choosing hope over fear.”
However, it wouldn’t be a speech from Fallon if he didn’t throw in jokes regarding their future relationships with one another.
“You won’t be classmates anymore. You’ll be adults who Facebook search each other at two in the morning for the next ten years,” Fallon joked.
Fallon ended with more lauding and encouraging words, “You are making us proud. You are changing the world, so keep changing the world and keep making us proud.”
Congratulations Marjory Stoneman Douglas Class of 2018! You are not just the future – you are the present. Keep changing the world. Keep making us proud. #MSDStrong #YouAreThePresent pic.twitter.com/czvZwezKSt
— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) June 3, 2018