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Selection of Student Speaker at Commencement - application deadline March 3

Contributed by Doreen Hettich-Atkins on 02/24/21 

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The Commencement Committee is excited to announce a change to the process by which the student speaker at the Commencement ceremony is selected. In the past, the speaking role has been embedded in the slate of official duties of the president of the senior class. For the 2021 ceremony (scheduled for May 23, 2021) all undergraduate seniors are invited to participate in a competition to be selected as the student speaker for the Class of 2021. The committee believes that allowing all members of the senior class to compete for this important role is increasing inclusivity and broadening the voices to be represented at this important celebration.  

 To be eligible to apply students must: 

  • Be graduating in December 2020, May 2021, June 2021, August 2021 or December 2021. 
  • Have completed a minimum of 60 credits at Ithaca college 

Application requirements 

  • Application form must be completed 
  • Applicants must submit a short 1-2 minute video that introduces the applicant, indicates why they are interested in being selected as the Student Commencement Speaker 
  • Provide a short example of the applicant giving a speech (can be something previously completed for a class or other project or performance) 

Selection Process 

  • 5 finalists will be selected by the Commencement co-chairs, a representative of the senior class officers, and the Director of the Office of Student Engagement.     
  • Finalists will be asked to present their final speech to the Student Speaker Selection Committee consisting of between 5 and 10 seniors on March 23-25. 


  • Applications due – March 3 
  • All applicants notified if selected as finalist – March 8 
  • Finalists presentations to Student Speaker Selection Committee – week of March 22 
  • Selected speaker notified – March 29 

The selected speaker will be guided and supported by the Commencement Committee as they finalize their commencement speech. 


Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Doreen Hettich-Atkins at or (607) 274-1168. We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible.

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