Student Speaker Selection for Fall Commencement

Deadline to submit an application: October 11, 2017


  1. The applicant must be approved for graduation for the term.
  2. The applicant must have contributed to the University of Memphis through campus involvement, community outreach, or through his or her chosen field of study.
  3. The applicant must show evidence of demonstrated public speaking ability and be willing to present their speech to the Commencement Speaker Selection Committee, if selected for an interview.
  4. The applicant must have a 2.7 cumulative grade point average or higher.
  5. The applicant must be in good academic standing with the university.
  6. The applicant MUST indicate on the Step 4: Attendance/Non-Attendance Required Form that he or she IS attending the ceremony. This form will open October 2.
  7. We will choose three (3) students: one from each ceremony.

If selected, the applicant will be asked to provide the following information:

  1. A compiled list of activities, work experience, and accomplishments achieved during their study at the University of Memphis.
  2. One letter of recommendation from a University of Memphis professor or staff.
  3. A 3 paragraph draft of what your speech will contain. The speech topic can be found below. If you are chosen as the Commencement speaker, your speech should be no longer than 3-5 minutes in length. You will meet with the Dean of Students to rehearse your speech, will meet with the Student Speaker Committee and must understand that your final speech must be approved before graduation. Your final speech and delivery will also be shared online.

Speech Topic: College can be rewarding, but it does come with its challenges when obtaining a degree. What is an important take-away message you could provide to the entire, diverse, student body?

Commencement Student Speaker Application