Skip to main contentSkip to main navigationSkip to footer content

Student Commencement Speaker


Guidelines for 2022 Commencement

Saint Xavier University invites students -- undergraduate and graduate -- to apply to be a commencement speaker. It is a distinguished honor for a student to be selected to present a commencement speech; one that may be included on a resume.

One student will be selected from either the School of Nursing & Health Sciences or Graham School of Management  to deliver an address at the May 7 ceremony at 9:30am.  
One student will be selected from the College of Arts & Sciences to deliver an address at the May 7 ceremony at 2:30pm. 


Student Commencement speaker Janica addresses the class of 2019


Speaker Qualifications

 Learn More


 Learn more

How to

 Learn more

Student Speaker Qualifications

Graduating students interested in delivering a student commencement speech must meet these guidelines:

  1. Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  2. Good disciplinary standing
  3. Record of academic achievement, service and campus involvement

Speech Guidelines

Speeches should address the following:

  1. How have you been shaped by the mission of SXU, which is rooted in our Mercy heritage? Include examples from collegiate life, course work, co-curricular involvement, service, reflection on a Core Value, peer and other relationships developed, etc.
  2. Saint Xavier University just celebrated its 175th anniversary. Speak to the transformative power of being immersed in an SXU Mercy education; specifically, how the 175 year legacy of the Sisters of Mercy and Saint Xavier has transformed your life.
  3. What does the phrase "calling all doers" mean to you? How have you been "called as a doer" or challenged others to this call?
  4. Share information about your personal development and future outlook -- speaking to "the best in you."
  5. How have your personal experiences as a student shaped your educational journey at SXU and developed a desire for you to want to make a change in the world?

The speech should:

  1. Utilize language that is inspiring, yet accessible
  2. Appeal to and capture the attention of a broad audience
  3. Be inclusive of the undergraduate and graduate student experience
  4. Include creative and appealing techniques such as metaphors, stories, brief quotes or humor
  5. Illuminate the universal experience of being a student
  6. Be structured around a Mercy theme using descriptive examples reflective of the broader student experience at SXU
  7. Be three to four minutes in length, or approximately 700 words

A committee will select the student speakers.

Speech Evaluation

The committee utilizes the following rubric as an evaluative tool for each speech and speech presentation:

Speech Content

The Student's Speech Poor Average Very Good Excellent
Thoughtfully reflects on how his/her personal experiences at SXU have shaped his/her journey        
Thoughtfully reflects on the impact of a Mercy Education, uses specific examples as well as effective language to illustrate his/her message        
Appeals to a broad audience of graduates, guests, and SXU community members        

Speech Delivery

The Student Poor Average Very Good Excellent
Effectively engages the audience and holds its attention        
Uses appropriate pronunciation, volume and inflection        
Maintains eye contact throughout the presentation        
Displays appropriate self-confidence and comfort speaking before an audience        


How to Apply

Complete the SXU Student Commencement Speaker Application 2022 Form by Friday, March 25, 2022, which includes the required items listed below.

  1. Statement of interest that includes contact information (phone number and SXU email)
  2. Written draft of speech
  3. Current resume that includes academic achievements, research, campus involvement and volunteerism


Questions about the student speaker selection process may be directed to commencementFREESXU.