Student Speaker

This year’s speaker will be Kathryn Bertodatto from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Congratulations!

Submission process

The Office of University and Development Events invites upcoming graduates to enter its Student Speaker Competition. The winning student must be eligible to receive a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree at the conclusion of Winter Term 2016, Summer Term 2016, or Fall Term 2015.

Once all entries have been received (see below), a committee comprised of students, faculty, and staff will meet to review submissions. The winning speech will:

  • Emphasize experiences unique to U-M
  • Have an over-arching theme
  • Be well-written
  • Time out at four minutes or less

To assure fairness to all contestants, names on entries will be deleted for the selection process.

Deadline for submissions

Interested University of Michigan graduating students must submit their commencement speeches for consideration no later than 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9, 2016. (The commencement ceremony will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, April 30, 2016 at Michigan Stadium.)

Submissions can be made by completing the student speaker submission form.

Requirements for submission

  1. Speeches must be typed and double-spaced. Please submit in both .doc and .pdf formats.
  2. Contestants also must include a curriculum vitae or resume—with e-mail address and local phone number—in both .doc and .pdf formats. A cover letter is not required.
  3. Each submission must include a recording of the author delivering her or his speech. Maximum length is 4 minutes, and any speeches longer than that may be disqualified. Please submit a .wav, .mp3, or .mp4 (ipod/itunes) electronic file.

For further information, call (734) 647-7900 or email