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 commencementspeaker@jwu.edu 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