DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Want to be a student speaker at commencement?

Want to be a student speaker at commencement?

graduate speaking at 2022 commencement
Graduating senior Lenin Plazas addresses his fellow graduates at the 2022 commencement ceremony for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. (DePaul University/Steve Woltmann)

In just a few months, thousands of students will cross the commencement stage at Wintrust Arena to become DePaul alumni. But only one graduating student at each commencement ceremony will step up to the microphone. Will you be your college’s student commencement speaker?

Apply to speak at commencement

If you’re interested in speaking, students graduating in June have until 12 p.m. on Friday, March 31 to submit an application to become a speaker at their commencement ceremony. Serving as a student speaker is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to convey a message of inspiration and encouragement, share common experiences and insights, and inspire your fellow graduates to carry the DePaul tradition out into the world.

Graduating students interested in delivering the commencement address must meet these criteria:

  • Be eligible for graduation.
  • Be in good academic and disciplinary standing.
  • Commit to attend and participate fully in the student speaker rehearsal (May 12) and commencement ceremony (June 10 or 11).

The address should be between three and five minutes long. Other guidelines are listed on the DePaul commencement website. After applications close, a selection committee comprised of representatives from each college and the Student Government Association will review entries and select a student speaker for each ceremony. Applicants will be contacted by April 12.

Cap and gown ordering 

As a reminder, students should order their regalia from Herff Jones. The deadline to order a cap and gown is Wednesday, April 26. 

Visit the commencement webpage for more information on all things commencement, or email with your questions.

Jessica Peterson is director of internal communications.