Purpose: To promote Eastern Illinois University’s commitment to strengthening the academic and personal experience for students and to showcase examples of exemplary writing and speaking, EIU offers the Student Commencement Speaker Series for undergraduate students during the annual spring commencement ceremonies. The Student Commencement Speaker Series will showcase high achieving students eligible for graduation. A Student Speaker representing the College of Health and Human Services will be featured during the Spring 2021 graduate ceremonies.
Graduation Criteria: Undergraduate students are eligible for consideration and must provide evidence that they will meet the requirements for graduation in the commencement ceremony they seek to speak at.
Scholarship Criteria: Students eligible for consideration must have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher for courses completed at Eastern Illinois University at the time that they submit materials for consideration.
Selection Committee: A selection committee comprised of faculty will select potential essays for oral presentation to be given in front of the committee. The committee will utilize standardized EIU rubrics to evaluate the quality of the written essay, as well as the quality of the oral presentation.
Faculty role: Students submitting essays must identify a faculty mentor to assist them with the competitive process. Mentors may include course instructors, advisors, or any member of the faculty who will provide guidance and support appropriate to writing an effective essay. The faculty member who serves in the mentor role will have the opportunity to introduce the Student Commencement Speaker at the commencement ceremony.
Submission materials: To compete for this unique privilege, CHHS undergraduate students must submit a 1) written essay on the theme and 2) an endorsement letter from a faculty mentor by Sunday, March 7, 2021. Application materials must be uploaded in pdf format using the online application form hyperlinked on this page.
2020-2021 Essay Theme: Explain how your academic experiences at Eastern Illinois University challenged you to accomplish things you never thought possible and explain how these experiences will continue to influence your future.
Essay Length: Essays are limited to 3 pages.
Essay Format: Essays are submitted electronically in .pdf format. The first page should include the essay title, author name, and degree program. The essay author should use a standard 12-point font, standard one-inch margins, and double spacing.
Publication: The Speaker and Alternate Speaker essays will be published electronically on the Student Commencement Speaker web site.
Commencement Recognition: The faculty mentor will have the honor of introducing the student speaker and alternate speaker. Both the speaker and alternate speaker will be recognized at the conclusion of the speech by the Provost and will receive a plaque in recognition of the honor.
*Online Application* = Essay submission deadline - Sunday, March 7, 2021
Eastern Illinois University
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