Undergraduate Commencement Speaker
Message from Dean of Students Office - updated April 9, 2021
The top three candidates for Undergraduate Commencement Speaker have been selected to move on to the next round. This is where you get to participate - by casting your vote for the top two speeches! Prior to voting, please take a few minutes to read the speeches. Voting begins on Tuesday, April 13 at noon ET, and concludes on Thursday, April 15 at 11:59pm ET.
You will receive a separate email with a link to the voting website. The top two candidates will move forward to the final round.
Thank you in advance for your participation.
Dean of Students Office
Message from Dean of Students: - updated March 11, 2021
Are you interested in becoming this year’s Undergraduate Commencement Speaker?
We are now accepting applications from any senior in good academic and conduct standing. If you wish to be considered for this role, please complete the online application and include a 5-minute speech. Guidelines for the speech can be found below. Applications are due by 5:00 pm ET on Thursday, March 25, 2021.
After reviewing the speeches, the selection committee (comprised of Brandeis students, faculty and staff) will choose the best speeches and post them here for voting. Voting will take place for members of the senior class from Tuesday, April 13 at noon ET through 11:59pm ET on Thursday, April 15. The top five candidates will present their speeches to the selection committee in April. The winning speech will be recorded and included as part of the virtual Commencement ceremony on May 23, 2021.
Best of luck,
Dean of Students
- Time limit is 5 minutes.
- Writing a speech is like writing (and then telling) a story — hook us into your story and give us a beginning, middle, and end.
- Your speech should reflect your Brandeis journey, lessons, and experiences that will be carried throughout life.
- Remember that writing a speech to be given is different from writing a speech to be read.
- The audience is not just your class, it includes honorary degree recipients, faculty, parents, friends, relatives, graduate students, etc. Speaking to your classmates is fine, but too many ‘inside’ jokes or information might lose the rest of the audience.
- 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 cannot 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 Student Commencement address.
- Commencement is a celebration.