Theme, Donation & Speakers

Each year, graduating students vote for a class theme, class donation and guest speaker.

Give your suggestions for guest speaker, class theme and class donation through December 4, 2015.

Submit your suggestions for the ceremony through the 2016 Graduation Survey within The survey is available to all students eligible to graduate this academic year.

The process for selecting the Guest Speaker is changing for our 2016 Commencement.

The Graduation Office modified the process for selecting the guest speaker for our 2016 Commencement to expedite invitations to potential guest speakers.  In the old process, we would poll graduating students about potential speakers only if the speakers promised in advance to hold the date open and to accept our invitation if, after the poll was conducted, we decided to invite them.  This step created delays, caused some of the people we might have invited to drop out, and annoyed some of the people who agreed to speak (over and over again) but were never invited.  Ultimately, that step greatly reduced our ability to secure the speakers graduating students most wanted to hear from.

We discussed this problem with the Gʷídəq Student Union on November 2nd.  The Gʷídəq Student Union recognized the benefits of revising the process and accepted our proposal for an improved process.  The process this year:

  • The Graduation Office will solicit suggestions for potential speakers from graduating students, faculty and staff as we have in the past.  This step typically produces a list of more than 50 names.
  • The Graduation Planning Committee (including six undergraduate and three graduate students) will winnow the list of suggested speakers down to 20 speakers. 
  • The list of 20 speakers will be sent to graduating students asking them to identify three speakers in priority order from the list of 20 that they would like to have invited. 
  • The Graduation Planning Committee will review the results of this prioritization process and recommend a prioritized list to the President who will make the invitation to become our graduation speaker. 

These changes will shorten the process of securing a graduation speaker by two to three months. We think that issuing invitations earlier will improve the likelihood that the speakers students most want to invite will accept the invitation.