2022 Student Commencement Speaker Contest

Wagner College plans to have in-person graduation ceremonies for its 2022 graduates.

On Thursday, May 19 commencement for students receiving graduate certificates, master’s degrees and doctorates will take place.

Commencement for student’s receiving bachelor’s degrees will be held on Friday, May 20.

A graduating Wagner College student will be selected to deliver a brief inspiration speech at each ceremony.

To be considered please see application details.

A graduating Wagner College student will be chosen to deliver a brief inspirational speech at the College’s ceremony on May 20, 2022.

Application and Rehearsal Information

Students interested in competing for this honor must follow the following instructions:

  1. Submit the following materials to Ann Giarratano (agiarrat@wagner.edu) by 4:30pm ET, Monday, February 28,2022:
    • An updated resume.
    • Your intended commencement speech as a word document. The speech must be no longer than 3 spoken minutes in length.
    • Each page of the document should be numbered, but no name or other identifying information should be recognizable in this document.
    •  Email your documents to Ann Giarratano (agiarrat@wagner.edu). You need to put in the subject line LastnameFirstnameSpeech .
    • Please note that student applicants for this process must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
    • A confirmation reply will be sent to you once your complete application has been received.
  2. An Executive Committee will review all applications and select students for auditions. The Committee is not aware of the name of the student when making their decision.
  3. Those students who are selected will present their speech to a selection committee composed of staff, faculty and students. You must be available for auditions during the day on Thursday, March 31 and /or Friday, April 1,2022. The committee will then choose one speech for presentation at Commencement.
  4. If you are selected, you must commit to meeting with the speaker coach for a minimum of 2 hours between April 18 and April 22, 2022.
  5. Be available for final rehearsal on Monday, May 10 or Tuesday, May 11, 2022 (exact time to be determined).
  6. Be present for the commencement on Friday, May 20,2022.

Commencement Speech Guidelines

The following are suggested guidelines for the Wagner College Student Commencement speech.  While not all follow these guidelines, most do.

Structure and Flow

  1. Speeches open with greetings to the President, Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, alumni, and the fellow members of the Class of 2022, with special thanks to parents, family, friends, and loved ones who made it all possible.
  2. The speaker should then respond to the question:  Reflecting upon your time at Wagner, what are pivotal experiences, interactions, and/or lessons that have prepared you for your life after college?
  3. Speeches then transition towards their closing, often with an energetic call to action. Remember that this is a commencement ceremony, and that it marks people moving forward and beginning new lives.

Characteristics and Length

Effective speeches are rich in content, have a strong theme, tell compelling stories, and ultimately inspire the listeners.  They should be inclusive and demonstrate passion, conviction, and sincerity.  The speech’s perspective should not reflect that of a single person or campus department, but all those who are graduating.  Please remember not to use offensive or inappropriate language in the speech.

The speech needs to be delivered in less than 3 minutes.

A graduating Wagner College student will be chosen to deliver a brief inspirational speech at the College’s ceremony on May 19, 2022.

Application and Rehearsal Information

Students interested in competing for this honor must follow the following instructions:

  1. Submit the following materials to Ann Giarratano (agiarrat@wagner.edu) by 4:30pm ET, Monday, February 28,2022:
    • An updated resume.
    • Your intended commencement speech as a word document. The speech must be no longer than 3 spoken minutes in length.
    • Each page of the document should be numbered, but no name or other identifying information should be recognizable in this document.
    •  Email your documents to Ann Giarratano (agiarrat@wagner.edu). You need to put in the subject line                                        Grad Speech Last name First name
    • Please note that student applicants for this process must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5.
    • A confirmation reply will be sent to you once your complete application has been received.
  2. An Executive Committee will review all applications and select students for auditions. The Committee is not aware of the name of the student when making their decision.
  3. Those students who are selected will present their speech to a selection committee composed of staff, faculty and students. You must be available for auditions during the week of  March 28 (exact days and time to be determined). Auditions will be done virtually via Zoom. The committee will then choose one speech for presentation at Commencement.
  4. If you are selected, you must commit to meeting with the speaker coach for a minimum of 2 hours between April 18-22, 2022.
  5. Be available for final rehearsal on Monday, May 10 or Tuesday, May 11, 2022 (exact time to be determined).
  6. Be present for the commencement on Thursday, May 19,2022

Commencement Speech Guidelines

The following are suggested guidelines for the Wagner College Student Commencement speech.  While not all follow these guidelines, most do.

Structure and Flow

  1. Speeches open with greetings to the President, Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, alumni, and the fellow members of the Class of 2022, with special thanks to parents, family, friends, and loved ones who made it all possible.
  2. The speaker should then respond to the question:  Reflecting upon your time at Wagner, what are pivotal experiences, interactions, and/or lessons that have helped position you to address critical issues in your field?
  3. Speeches then transition towards their closing, often with an energetic call to action. Remember that this is a commencement ceremony, and that it marks people moving forward and beginning new lives.

Characteristics and Length

Effective speeches are rich in content, have a strong theme, tell compelling stories, and ultimately inspire the listeners.  They should be inclusive and demonstrate passion, conviction, and sincerity.  The speech’s perspective should not reflect that of a single person or campus department, but all those who are graduating.  Please remember not to use offensive or inappropriate language in the speech.

The speech needs to be delivered in less than 3 minutes.

 

 

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