Student Commencement Speaker
Student Speaker Guidelines for May 2020 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.
Two students will be selected, one for each of the May 2020 ceremonies as follows:
- Graham School of Management and School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Saturday, May 9 at 9:30 a.m.
- College of Arts and Sciences, Saturday, May 9 at 3 p.m.
Graduating students interested in delivering a student commencement speech must meet these guidelines:
- Attend the ceremony for their college/school
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
- Good disciplinary standing
- Record of academic achievement, service and campus involvement
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.
- Speak to the transformative power of being immersed in an SXU Mercy education. Specifically, what have you done that has transformed your life or others?
- 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 sophisticated and inspiring, yet accessible, language
- 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 four to six minutes in length, or approximately 800 words
- For the Graham School of Management and School of Nursing and Health Sciences ceremony, be mindful that students from both schools attend the same ceremony
A committee of faculty, staff and students 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|
How to Apply
In order to apply, submit the following to email@example.com by Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Deadline extended)
- Letter of interest that includes contact information (phone and SXU email)
- Draft of speech (Note: The process will be a blind review, meaning your name and identity will not be known by the committee, so be sure to include your first and last name in the name of the file, but do not include any identifiers in the text of the speech.)
- Current resume that includes academic achievements, research, campus involvement and volunteerism
Note: Student-speaker semifinalists will be required to present their speeches to
the committee prior to the final selection. Selected finalists will be mentored prior
to the delivery of the speech at the commencement ceremony.
Questions about the student speaker selection process may be directed to the Dean of Students Office in the Warde Academic Center, Room L-103, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-298-3123.