Commencement Student Speakers

2023 Spring Commencement Student Speaker Application

UC Davis invites graduating seniors to apply to be one of the five student speakers at the Spring Commencement Ceremony taking place in June 2023. Students may apply directly and community members may also nominate a student to be one of the speakers.

In order to qualify, you must:

  • Be earning a degree from UC Davis
  • Meet the unit requirements to participate in the Spring 2023 Commencement
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Have registered to participate in Commencement
Nomination Deadline: 5:00 p.m., Friday, March 17, 2023

Nominate someone to speak at commencement


Application Deadline: 5:00 p.m., Monday, April 3, 2023

Apply to speak at commencement


Application Procedure:

  • Your speech must be 3-5 minutes in length.
  • Prepare a draft of your speech, including a title. Your draft doesn’t need to be in final form. It should, however, sufficiently convey the tone and content of your speech (note: please no political or religious messages).
  • Prepare a 1-minute video demonstrating your presentational style. 
  • Submit your application via the online form, which will include an uploaded copy of your speech and weblink to your video.


Selection Procedure:

The Student Speaker Selection Committee will review applications and invite a select number of candidates for interviews and auditions. We are looking for students who have an inspirational, unusual or exceptionally moving story to tell, or an interesting way to tell it. Traditional speeches are always welcome, but feel free to be creative. The speech should make a connection to all attendees: faculty, family, friends and others who have supported the efforts of the graduating students during their education here.

The speaker is chosen on the basis of speech content and presentation skills. Candidates who are invited to the audition should attend with a final version of the speech completed and be ready to give the speech as if at the actual commencement ceremony.

If you are selected to be the student speaker, you will be seated on stage during the ceremony, have the opportunity to have pictures taken by a professional photographer, have your name printed in the program and be eligible to receive special, reserved seating for your guests.