Harpur College Student Speaker

One of the highest distinctions a student can receive is to be selected as the student speaker for Commencement. It is a chance to represent Binghamton University and Harpur College by giving an address that inspires, encourages and reflects the vision and hopes of the Class of 2014. The address not only commemorates the event, but also gives a student the opportunity to pay tribute to those who have helped him/her along the way as well as tout the accomplishments of fellow graduates.

During the Spring semester, three graduate or undergraduate graduating seniors will be selected to give the address at the Harpur College Commencement to be held Sunday, May 18 2014. One student will be selected to represent each of the three Harpur Divisions; Math & Science, Fine Arts/Humanities, and Social Sciences.

Eligibility

To be eligible, the student must:

  • be a spring or summer 2014 graduate
  • be in good disciplinary standing at the University
  • demonstrate academic success
  • be an active participant in the University community (i.e., leadership position in club or organization, mentor on campus or in greater Binghamton community, etc.)

Application requirements

Complete applications are due at noon Friday, March 14, 2014. Note: Only applications that are 100 percent complete will be considered. Requirements are:

  • Personal statement – include information about yourself as well as why you wish to represent your class at Commencement
  • Résumé - a brief one-page résumé that includes your school, major and any University activities
  • A complete first draft of the speech you'd like to give at Commencement
  • Two references
    • References must be professors, administrators or staff members at Binghamton University
    • Letters of reccomendation are not required, but will be accepted

Submission of application materials

Submit the following documents in PDF format to harpgrad@binghamton.edu

  • Personal statement
  • Résumé
  • References
  • Speech

Speech guidelines

  • The speech should be substantive, meaningful and entertaining.
  • The topic should be relevant to graduates, but should also address the general audience.
  • The address should inspire, encourage and reflect the vision and hopes of the Class of 2014.
  • Speak of new goals and how the graduates will attain these goals; try to avoid bemoaning the world's problems.
  • Original content is required; this speech should be developed expressly for the Commencement ceremony.
  • It is often helpful to focus on two or three key points/messages you want to convey to the audience.
  • Speech length should not exceed 5 minutes. 

Selection Process

Phase I: Submit Application Materials 

Friday, March 14 by 12 p.m. 

The complete student speaker application, must be submitted no later than 12 p.m. on Friday, March 14.

 

Phase II: Application Review

Monday, March 17– Friday, March 28, 2014

Harpur College Commencement Committee will meet and review all applications. Please be aware, any incomplete applications will not be considered.

Phase III: Interviews and Presentations

Thursday, April 3 – Friday, April; 4, 2014

A brief, 15-minute interview will be conducted with those candidates selected by the committee during Phase II of the process (application review). Upon completion of the interview, the student will be asked to give his/her prepared speech to the committee.

Phase IV: Selection 

Friday, April 11, 2014 by 12 p.m.

All applicants will receive the committee's decision via email no later than 12 p.m. on Friday,
April 11.

Phase V: Commencement Speaker Preparations 

Monday, April 14 – Sunday, May 18 2014

During this time period, the selected speaker will work with the Commencement Office to prepare and finalize his/her speech. This includes a rehearsal in the Events Center with a final review by the University's Communications and Marketing department.

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Last Updated: 12/5/14