Student Speakers will:

  • Network with distinguished guests & university administration prior to the ceremony.
  • Sit on stage during the ceremony.
  • Have a short bio featured in the commencement program.
  • Receive reserved seating for family members & guests.



Students must meet the following requirements (as of the winter term).

  1. A grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.4, with expected completion of a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in 2019. 
  2. Good academic, financial & disciplinary standing at JWU.

Candidates may only apply to speak at the ceremony held for their program. Professional staff enrolled as students are not eligible.

Application Process

Email the following completed items by the posted deadlines below: 

  1. Name and JWU ID# 
  2. Telephone # (specify day/evening) 
  3. College, Major, & Grade Point Average 
  4. A current résumé 
  5. One draft copy of your commencement address which must be typed & double-spaced.


Graduate: March 1, 2019, 4 pm
Undergrad: March 22, 2019, 4 pm

Writing Guidelines  

  1. The address should be no more than 450-500 words.
  2. Highlight an experience that your fellow graduates can relate to. 
  3. What about your JWU experience has motivated you to get where you are today? 

  • A selection committee will review submissions anonymously & the committee chair will invite the top three candidates for each ceremony to deliver their speeches for final evaluation. 
  • Each address will be evaluated based on grammar, spelling, theme/idea, coherency, creativity, organization, potential, audience & voice.
  • Notification from the committee chair will occur on or around March 13, 2018 (for graduate applicants) and April 5, 2018 (for undergraduate applicants).
  • After selecting the speakers, committee members will work with the selected students to finalize their speeches.  

Review & Selection Process