Commencement Speaker

Student Commencement Speaker

Members of the Valpo Class of 2023:

We are pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 2023 Valparaiso University Student Commencement Speaker. Specifically, the Student Commencement Speaker will have the high honor of representing the student body at this significant public occasion. Two speakers will be selected this year, one for each Commencement ceremony that is taking place. 

Student Eligibility: Any undergraduate student with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 who has completed, or will complete, graduation requirements for receiving a degree at the May or December 2023 Commencement Ceremony is eligible.

  • A candidate must have demonstrated leadership and/or service at Valparaiso University
  • A candidate must be fully capable of writing, revising, rehearsing, and delivering a five-minute speech to an audience of several thousand people in The ARC and others live-streaming the ceremony

Process: All candidates must submit the following items as attachments to an email message sent to by midnight (CDT) on March 20, 2023.

  • A personal resume, including campus and community service and/or leadership involvement
  • An outline of the key talking points of a five-minute Commencement speech
  • A 1-2 minute video excerpt of a key portion of the speech being presented 
  • The name of a faculty and/or staff member who could serve as a reference for you regarding your time at Valparaiso University 

Finalists: Students selected as finalist candidates will be notified on March 27, 2023. The finalists must be able to commit to providing the full text of the proposed graduation speech and delivery of the full speech in person on April 5, 2023. 

Selected Speaker(s):The students selected to speak must be able to commit to:

  • Working with a public speaking coach to refine content and delivery of the speech
  • Practicing the speech on-site in the ARC with the coach
  • Attending Commencement rehearsal during the week of May 8, 2023
  • Arriving early at the ARC for Commencement with other members of the platform party

In addition to the honor and responsibility associated with speaking, the Commencement student speaker will receive:

  • Commencement Tickets in the reserved seating section
  • Invitations to special Commencement Weekend events, such as the Commencement luncheon
  • Commemorative Commencement photos

This is a wonderful capstone opportunity for a senior class student to participate in the celebratory and forward-looking nature of the occasion. We look forward to receiving your applications! Should you have any questions, please contact, and a member of the Committee will be happy to respond.  

Student Commencement Speaker Selection Committee
Carrie Whittier, Assistant Vice President of Student Life
Anna Stewart, Assistant Dean of Christ College
Lanie Steinwart, Associate Professor of Communication and Visual Arts
Paul Oren, Lecturer in Communication & Visual Arts