Student Commencement Speaker
Guidelines for 2021 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 to deliver a virtual address to be filmed (preferably on campus) on March 29, 2021.
Speeches should address the following:
- 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.
- This year marks Saint Xavier's 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.
- What does the phrase "calling all doers" mean to you? How have you been "called as a doer" or challenged others to this call?
- Share information about your personal development and future outlook -- speaking to "the best in you."
- 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:
- Utilize language that is sophisticated, inspiring, yet accessible
- Appeal to and capture the attention of a broad audience
- Be inclusive of the undergraduate and graduate student experience
- Include creative and appealing techniques such as metaphors, stories, brief quotes or humor
- Illuminate the universal experience of being a student
- Be structured around a Mercy theme using descriptive examples reflective of the broader student experience at SXU
- Be three to four minutes in length, or approximately 700 words
A committee will select the student speakers.
The committee utilizes the following rubric as an evaluative tool for each speech
and speech presentation:
|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|
|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|
Complete the SXU Student Commencement Speaker Application 2021 Form by Monday, March 15, 2021, which includes the required items listed below.
- Statement of interest that includes contact information (phone number and SXU email)
- Written draft of speech
- Current resume that includes academic achievements, research, campus involvement and volunteerism
- Video recording
Video Recording Recommendations
In addition to completing the form, please prepare a video recording of you delivering
the speech. The video should be uploaded to your @mymail.sxu.edu Google drive with
shared access to firstname.lastname@example.org. The video is not expected to be of professional quality, but should be recorded
in good lighting, with no background noise or other distractions.
Recommendations to prepare an optimal video:
- Record in a horizontal 16:9 ratio.
- Place yourself in the center of the frame with your head in the top half of the frame.
- Be mindful of your surroundings. Before recording, check the room for distractions and/or items that might be considered inappropriate for the video.
- Turn off all electronics and other objects that produce audio.
- DO NOT record from extreme angles. The camera should be around eye level.
- Use a tripod if your device can be mounted on one. Phone/tablet users will have to be creative; find an assistant or use books, a bookshelf, a phone holder with a stand, a picture frame stand, or an easel.
Selected finalists will be mentored prior to the delivery of the speech at the commencement ceremony.