Student Commencement Speakers

Reflections & Celebrations

Graduating seniors from the School of Arts and Sciences, Jepson School of Leadership Studies, and the Robins School of Business are invited to submit personal speeches to be considered for ceremonies during Commencement Weekend. 

There are two ceremonies that students can submit speeches for:

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  • Who is eligible?

    The selection process is open to graduating seniors from the School of Arts and Sciences, the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, and the Robins School of Business

  • When are speeches due & what do I submit?

    Speeches need to be submitted no later than the submission deadline of 11:59 p.m. on March 29, 2024. Submissions should be submitted via the online submission form.

    On the submission form, you will need to upload:

    • Written version (in PDF or Word document) of your speech
    • A video of you delivering your speech

    Quality or production value of the video submitted is not a consideration in selection. The selection committee is only looking to hear your delivery.

  • What are the guidelines for student speakers?


    Speech must be between 3–5 minutes. Speeches longer than 5 minutes will be disqualified.


    Speeches should present a message that is significant and appropriate for Commencement weekend. The speech should have a meaningful and reflective tone.


    Speaker should be able to deliver the address with appropriate use of voice, action, and eye contact with the audience. Use of the Speech Center for consultation and practice prior to the presentation is highly recommended.


    Words should be suitable for oral presentation rather than for reading, as an essay, but the style should be consistent with the tone of other remarks made by those sharing the platform with the student speaker.


    Ideas should be clearly organized with a theme or a set of readily identifiable points.

  • How does the selection process work?

    All submissions will be reviewed by a faculty, staff, and student panel. The top ten speeches will be presented before the panel. Students selected for presentation will be given an opportunity to sign up for a specific time on April 4, 2024.

  • What if I’m selected to give a speech?

    Those selected to give a speech must attend a practice session prior to graduation ceremonies. This occurs in the late afternoon on the Friday prior to commencement. 

    Students selected for this honor are also required to consult and attend three practice sessions with a designated Speech Center consultant for content critique and presentation development. In addition, students must complete, agree, and sign a letter of presentation agreement if selected as an honored speaker.

    Students selected for this honor (and their parents and families) also are invited to attend the annual Student Leadership dinner, which occurs on the Saturday evening prior to commencement.