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Be the Student Speaker for Commencement

Thank you for your interest in becoming a candidate for Student Speaker for the Commencement Ceremony. The person selected will represent the graduating students of the Class of 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 application itself must be returned to the Humanities Division Office, K-214, by 4pm on Friday, October 18, 2019. If you have any questions, you may contact Colby Miyose at colby.miyose@hawaii.edu.


I. High Academic Achievement

The student must demonstrate academic achievement, as evidenced by a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 from UH Hilo courses at the end of the Spring 2019 semester.

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 an expressive manner.

Procedure of Application

Complete the attached brief application and return it to the Humanities Division Office, K-214, by 4pm on Friday, October 18, 2019. Late applications cannot be accepted. Be sure to have your application date and time stamped by one of the Humanities Division secretaries.

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 2:00-4:00pm on Thursday, October 24, 2019 in the conference room of the Humanities Division Office, K-214A. Should you be selected to audition, be prepared to present a 3-minute speech you would give at the graduation ceremony. There will be a small group of 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. There will be no microphone at the audition. Do note that this is an actual audition, so please come prepared.

  2. Invitations to speak at the Thursday October 24th audition will be extended by e-mail. If you have not been reached by Tuesday, October 22nd, please contact Colby Miyose by e-mail (colby.miyose@hawaii.edu) or at (808) 932-7208 to learn what time you have been scheduled to speak on the afternoon of October 24th. Please be on time for your scheduled audition and wait in the hallway outside of Humanities Division office until you are greeted.

  3. Final selection by the judges will be based upon the sample speeches given on October 24th. Both content and delivery will be considered (along with academic achievement and service in especially 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 email the speech to the committee in a timely manner.

  5. The student selected to be the Student Commencement Speaker must practice with a podium and microphone at the UH Hilo theatre, UCB 100, or Wentworth 1 (whichever is available) at least one time, specifically during the last week of instruction or finals week. The selected student will receive assistance from faculty members.