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Student Commencement Speaker

Graduating seniors are invited to apply to be one of two IUPUI student Commencement speakers in May 2014, one for each of the two ceremonies. The student speakers will have a successful academic record (minimum 3.0 GPA) and a history of participation in campus and/or community activities.

Commencement is held in two sessions, one at 11:00 a.m. and one at 3:30 p.m. (schools are assigned to one or the other).  Students who are selected will speak at the ceremony in which they are participating as graduates. The student Commencement speaker will give a 3-5 minute speech in front of approximately 7,000 classmates and guests on Sunday, May 11, 2014.

A selection committee with faculty, staff, and student representation will review applications, interview candidates, and select finalists.

Click here to access the Student Speaker application form.
Applications are due
March 8 by 5 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who is eligible to apply to be the student commencement speaker?

A: Any undergraduate student who graduated in December 2013 or who will be graduating in May or August, 2014, and who has at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.

Q: When is the application due? 

A: March 8, 2014

Q: Will someone help me with my speech if I am selected?

A: Yes, assistance with speech development and editing will be provided.

Q: Will I get compensated as a speaker?

A: No, being a student speaker at commencement is not a paid position.

Q: How many people will the student speaker address?

A: As the student speaker for your ceremony, you will be addressing approximately 7,000 graduates, faculty, alumni, friends and family.  It is important to note that being comfortable speaking in front of large groups is a must!

Q: How many students will be selected to speak at commencement?

A: One per University Commencement ceremony, two total.

Q: How long will the student speaker’s speech be?

A: 3-5 minutes, approximately 500-750 words.

Q: Will the student be the only speaker?

A: IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz will serve as the presiding officer, and IU President Michael A. McRobbie and a representative from Purdue will speak to the graduates.

Q: If I am selected to be the student speaker, will I be able to sit with my friends?

A: No. The student speaker will be seated on the stage with the platform party. Family members will be seated in a special reserved section immediately in front of the stage.

Questions about this process may be directed to Sharon Holland at 274-4555 or by e-mail to

Commencement Hot Line: 317-278-1700 or 1-866-267-3104