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Undergraduate Student Commencement Speaker Application

Thank you for your interest in becoming a candidate for Student Speaker for the Fall 2018 Commencement Ceremony. The person selected will represent the graduating students of the Class of Fall 2018 and will play a very important role in the Commencement Ceremony.

The following section describes the criteria and process to be used for selecting the speaker. The attached application must be returned to the Humanities Division Office, EKH 214, by 4pm on Thursday, October 18, 2018. If you have any questions, you may contact Dr. Ron Gordon at


I. High Academic Achievement
The student must demonstrate academic achievement, as evidenced by a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
II. University/Community Service
The student must have a record of meaningful University and/or community service.
III. Graduating Senior
The student must have applied for graduation and be graduating this semester as an undergraduate student.
IV. Public Communication Skills
The student must demonstrate the potential to communicate to a large audience on a graduation-related theme in a meaningful, clear, and expressive manner.


Complete the attached brief application and return it to the Humanities Division Office, EKH 214, by 4pm on Thursday, October 18, 2018. Late applications cannot be accepted. Be sure to have your application date and time stamped by one of the Humanities Division secretaries.

Application Deadline
October 18, 2018
October 26, 2018

Selection Process

  1. Applicants who meet criteria I, II and III, above, will be invited to speak at an audition session to be held between the hours of noon and 1:00 pm (or so) on Friday, October 26, 2018 in the Conference Room of the Humanities Division Office, EKH 214A. Should you be selected to audition, be prepared to present a 3 to 4-minute speech that you would like to deliver at the UH Hilo graduation ceremony. There will be a small group of faculty judges present, but you will speak as if you are addressing those assembled at the graduation ceremony itself. You may speak extemporaneously or use a manuscript, up to you. There will be no microphone at the audition. Do note that this is an actual audition, so please do come prepared.

  2. Invitations to speak at the Friday October 26 auditions will be extended by e-mail. If you have not been reached by 12:00 noon on Wednesday October 24, please contact Dr. Gordon by e-mail ( to learn what time you have been scheduled to speak on Friday October 26. Please be on time for your scheduled audition, and wait in the hallway outside of the Humanities Division office until you are greeted.

  3. Final selection by the judges will be based upon the sample speeches given on Friday October 26. Both content and delivery will be considered (along with academic achievement and service, especially in the case of close competition).

  4. The student selected to be the Student Commencement Speaker will receive assistance from UH Hilo faculty in refining their speech and its delivery. The student selected must submit the final revised word processed speech to the speaker selection committee in a timely manner, subsequent to the audition.

  5. The student selected will receive feedback and assistance from a faculty coach.

Application Form