Student Speakers at Commencement

The Student Speaker has been a highlight of commencement ceremonies at ODU, and this year we will have two student speakers, one representing the undergraduate students and one representing the graduate students. Therefore, we invite all graduating students to apply.  This is a great opportunity to address ODU classmates and their families and to share your thoughts as you begin a new phase of your life.  

How to Apply

  • Write your speech, usually 4-5 minutes in length when spoken, normally 2 to 2.5 pages double-spaced.
  • Submit the speech to the Academic Affairs Office, Erskine 240, or email to


  • Speeches must be submitted by April 15 to be considered for the May 2024 Commencement.

Selection Process

  • A committee of faculty will review the speeches and select the undergraduate and graduate speakers. 
  • Following selection, the student speakers will be notified to arrange a meeting regarding the details, including rehearsal.