Spring Commencement

Prior to Commencement

Branch Campus Info

Commencement Ceremony

Getting to Campus


Commencement Student Speaker -- Selection Process

Spring 2018

Are you interested in speaking on behalf of your classmates at Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 19, 2018?

Do you believe you can give a speech that your graduating classmates, parents and friends will remember on this auspicious occasion?

Then maybe YOU are the right person to become the next Student Commencement Speaker.

How It Works

The Honors Council will select a Student Commencement Speaker to speak on behalf of their classmates at the Spring Commencement ceremonies at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. 

To be considered for Student Commencement Speaker, applicants must be graduating with honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude or cum laude) and must submit a draft speech for review by the Honors Council.

For most, commencement is both an ending and a beginning; an opportunity for graduates to reflect on what has been, while anticipating new, perhaps unknown, challenges.

The most well received speeches are those that have the most meaning for the largest number of persons in attendance, reflect on the common educational experience, and share, in a personal way, the value of the education received at SUNY Plattsburgh.

In selecting the best submitted draft, the Honors Council considers such things as:

  • Clarity of ideas,
  • Appropriateness of topic,
  • Suitability for the occasion and intended audience,
  • Quality of content, and
  • Extent to which the speech represents the best of the Plattsburgh experience.

Draft speeches submitted should be approximately no more than five (5) minutes long, which translates into approximately three (3) to four (4) double-spaced pages.

This is not a nomination. Students wishing to be considered must follow the steps outlined below.

What You Need to Do

Step 1: Contact the Honors Center

Sandra Boulerice
Phone: (518) 564-3075
Email:[email protected]

Contact Sandy Boulerice by end of Friday, April 6, 2018, notifying her that you are interested in submitting a draft speech for consideration. Please include your name, address, SUNY Plattsburgh ID #, e-mail address and telephone number for verification purposes.

Step 2: Submit Your Speech For Consideration

Then you have until 12 p.m. on Monday, April 9, 2018 to submit your final speeches in Microsoft Word format to Sandra Boulerice by email [email protected] All draft speeches are reviewed anonymously, so please do not type your name on the speech. Instead, on a separate cover sheet, include your name, address, SUNY Plattsburgh ID #, email address, telephone number and academic major.

The Honors Council will review all submissions and then a graduating student will be chosen Student Commencement Speaker no later than Friday, April 13, 2018. The person(s) selected as Student Commencement Speaker will receive assistance from members of the Honors Council in preparing the final version of their speeches prior to Spring Commencement. Additionally, the Student Commencement Speaker(s) will seat on the dais with college officials and honorees during commencement, and family members of the Student Commencement Speaker may be able to sit in the reserved section. All qualified graduating students who submit a draft speech will receive a memento from the college in appreciation of their effort.

This is a distinct honor and one that many Student Commencement Speakers have enjoyed. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Tracie Church Guzzio, Professor of English and Director of the Honors Program, by email [email protected] or phone (518) 564-3075.

Spring 2018 Dates to Remember

  • Friday, April 6, 2018 - Notify Redcay Honors Center of Intent to Submit a Draft Speech
  • Monday, April 9, 2018 - Submit draft speech by 12 p.m.
  • Friday, April 13, 2018 - Student Speaker Named by Honors Council
  • Saturday, May 19, 2018 - Spring Commencement, 9 a.m./2 p.m 


Contact Information

For more information about Spring Commencement at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

Office of the President
159 Hawkins Hall
(518) 564-2010 (phone)
(518) 564-3932 (fax)
Email: [email protected]