Important Information

Congratulations to the Class of 2017 Senior Speaker Mercedes Hall! 

Click HERE to read her speech.

Sunday, May 13th

Questions or concerns please email us at:

Senior Commencement Speaker

Senior Commencement Speaker Process

Any senior in good academic and conduct standing who wishes to be considered for Senior Speaker at the 2018 commencement must fill out a candidate information form and submit a 2-3 page speech, on any subject appropriate to the audience and occasion. Please email an electronic version of your speech to deanofstudentsoffice@brandeis.eduAll candidate speeches are due to the Dean of Students Office by 4:00 pm on Friday, March 2nd, 2018.   

After reviewing and ranking the speeches, the committee will narrow the list of candidates’ speeches to approximately ten. The selected candidates, with their speeches, will be placed here on our website and balloting will take place for members of the senior class to further narrow the candidates to 5 finalists. The online balloting for seniors will take place from noon on Tuesday, March 27 through noon on Thursday, March 29, and will produce a list of five final candidates who will make a live presentation of their speech to the selection committee in April.

Helpful Notes:  

· Writing a speech is like writing (and then telling) a story - hook us into your story and give us a beginning, middle, and end.  

· Remember that writing a speech to be given is different than writing a piece to be read.  The words coming off the page when speaking are the most important.

· The audience is not just your class, it includes parents, friends, relatives, graduate students, faculty, honorary degree recipients, etc.  Speaking to your classmates is fine, but too many ‘insider’ jokes or information might lose the rest of the audience.

· Ask yourself the question, "Why do I want to share this story with others?"  

· Read the speech out loud.  If you fumble over transitions, change them, no matter how brilliantly written they are.  

· Punctuation is your friend and helps you breathe and transition within the speech.  

· A speech can’t be overly complicated, especially in a large hall.

· Be careful about being personal, too many ‘I’s” will leave the rest of us out.

· Keep in mind that someone else is giving the official Commencement address.  You are giving the senior student address.

· Commencement is a celebration.