Some students spend their entire college careers dreaming up what they would say to their fellow graduates if they were to give the commencement address. An honor sometimes reserved for the valedictorian or class president, now every senior at Bradley once again has the opportunity to address their classmates at December graduation.
The Division of Student Affairs has made a second round of changes to the process that selects the graduation speaker, and this time Alan Galsky said he thinks they got it right.
“Now we have the best of both worlds,” the vice president of Student Affairs said. “We have improved the process from what we did last May and will now let students nominate themselves or other seniors.”
Before the May commencement, the first year Galsky and Student Affairs were in charge of the selection, the process of selecting
a speaker underwent some major changes. While in all previous years students
could nominate themselves, for May graduation the students who auditioned to speak were all student leaders chosen by members
of the administration.
Now the board of executive directors will still have the opportunity
to nominate students, but anyone who believes they have what it takes to speak at graduation
are also invited to apply, Galsky said.
“We are looking for one criteria
– that the chosen student is involved on campus both through academic excellence and as a student
leader,” he said.
Galsky said that while being a student leader is a loosely defined term, the team who will ultimately choose the speaker will look for someone who has been involved with on-campus activities for the majority of their time at Bradley.
And although applications are not available yet, Galsky said students
should be able to start applying
to speak by the beginning of October.
Administrators’ opinions are important, but sometimes students can get overlooked, Galsky said.
“Some students believe they have the talent and ability, and now they will have the chance to prove it,” he said. “One of the highest honors a student can have is to give the graduation speech at his or her graduation.”
Senior history major David Caine will graduate in December and said he thinks it is important for a student to speak at graduation.
“They are the ones who went through this with us,” he said. “It’s nice to have a student perspective on our four years here instead of just someone who doesn’t even know us.”