You could be the student speaker at Winter Commencement

We are seeking a graduating student of the Class of 2019 to serve as the student speaker at the Winter Commencement ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, at the Kohl Center. The selected student will be invited to speak on behalf of all graduates. Any student who completes degree requirements in either Summer or Fall of 2019 and indicates their intention to graduate through the MyUW Student Center is eligible, regardless of school, college, or major. The student selected will deliver a five-minute speech at commencement.

The ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m., recognizes all doctoral and professional degrees, all master’s degrees, and all bachelor’s degrees (an audience of approximately 10,000, including guests). Additional information about commencement is available at

Your submission should reflect your unique path to UW–Madison, how you have been shaped by your time here on campus (what are some of the most impactful moments, what was a turning point, etc.), and what you hope to see yourself and your fellow classmates achieve in the coming years after graduation. Check out Class of 2018 graduate Jamie Dawson’s speech to get a feel for what it would be like to be the student speaker.

If you are interested in being considered for this speaking opportunity, please complete this application, and upload a Word doc of your remarks, as well as an audio or video file of you presenting your remarks, by noon on Monday, Oct. 21. This is an absolute deadline, and no late applications will be considered.

The survey includes:

  1. Your name, phone number, email address, and the school/college and major from which you will graduate.
  2. A Word doc of your remarks.
  3. An audio or video file of your remarks, as you would present them onstage to the graduates.

The process for selecting student speakers will be as follows:

  1. Senior class officers, along with representatives from the Chancellor’s Office and University Communications, will review all applications.
  2. A select number of candidates will be asked to come in to present their remarks in person. 
  3. The student speaker for Winter Commencement will be notified by Thursday, Oct. 31.
  4. The student speaker will then have the opportunity to work with an experienced speechwriter to perfect the remarks and delivery.
  5. Final remarks will be due to the Chancellor’s Office by Monday, Dec. 2.

We look forward to your submissions. Feel free to contact us with any questions, and congratulations on your upcoming graduation!