Commencement speaker contest

Graduating students can earn a chance to speak at commencement

Congratulations, you’re graduating! Your graduation day is something to be proud of. You’ve worked hard to earn your degree, and your S&T education will be recognized and respected wherever you go.

Sharing your S&T experience as a commencement speaker is not only valuable to the audience, the opportunity will shine on your resume and also provide you public speaking experience.

The Commencement Student Speaker Selection Committee seeks graduating students to speak at the three upcoming May 2020 commencement ceremonies. Bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. students from both colleges may apply. Each ceremony will have a graduate and undergraduate student speaker.

Your speech should focus on your personal S&T experience and life lessons learned along the way you believe will be valuable in your next endeavors in life.

We hope you will apply.

How to enter

Submit the following to Krista Chambers via email at by 8 a.m. March 1, 2020

  • Your typed speech (Word or PDF document)
  • Your resume
  • Commencement speaker selection application form

Commencement Speaker App Sp 2020

Competition details

How we select
  • Applications will be reviewed and a final pool selected.
  • Finalists will then attend a live audition.
  • The winning speakers will be chosen after the live audition.

Nomination criteria
  • Speaker must be a member of the graduating class that they plan to address.
  • Students may self-nominate or be nominated by a faculty member or their college dean.

Application rules
  • The submitted speech should be no more than 375 words and no more than 3.5 minutes.
  • Students may self-nominate or be nominated by a faculty member or their college dean.
  • Students must fill out the "Student Commencement Speaker" application form to be considered.
  • In addition to the completed application form, all prospective speakers must also submit a copy of their proposed speech and their resumes.


Members of the selection committee will review unidentified applications and speeches to determine the final pool of students invited for in-person auditions.

In the spring semester we now have three ceremonies. A total of six student speakers will be selected with one speaker from the undergraduate student body and one student from the graduate student body for each commencement ceremony.

Selection Announcement
  • Selected students will be notified by email from Krista Chambers at
  • Auditions will be held between March 16-18th.  Sign up will be first come first serve via response to email.

For more details, please see the Commencement Speaker Guidelines Sp2020