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:

  • Candelight Ceremony
  • Commencement
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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?

    Speeches should be emailed to involved@richmond.edu no later than the submission deadline of 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 27, 2022. Submissions should be submitted via email (in Microsoft Word or PDF format)

    On the cover page, please include:

    • Full Name
    • Cell phone number
    • Email address
    • School from which your degree is being conferred
    • Ceremony your speech was written for (Candlelight, Commencement, or Both)

     

  • What are the guidelines for student speakers?

    LENGTH

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

    CONTENT

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

    DELIVERY

    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.

    LANGUAGE

    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.

    STRUCTURE

    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 and staff 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.

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

    Those selected to give a speech must attend a practice session prior to graduation ceremonies.

    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.