Campus News

Applications for December 2019 Commencement Student Speaker Open Oct. 3

Graduation stage with speaker in cap and gown at podium and various international flags in background
Pete Comparoni | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 3, 2019) Continuing with university tradition, the University of Kentucky Commencement ceremonies this December will feature a selected student speaker to deliver a three- to five-minute address to the Class of 2019. Applications for student speakers open 10 a.m. today (Thursday), Oct. 3, and will remain open until 5 p.m. on Nov. 1.

Students interested in applying must be receiving a degree from UK at one of the December Commencement ceremonies. August 2019 and December 2019 graduates are eligible to apply. Also, applicants must have contributed to the university through campus and community activities or through their chosen field of study and present evidence of demonstrated public speaking ability. Applicants must be willing to present their address to the Commencement Speaker Selection Committee and be available for a possible short interview and speech demonstration.

Application materials include a resume with detailed activities, work experience and accomplishments achieved during applicant's study at UK. In addition, a summary of no more than three typed, double-spaced pages of the applicant's proposed speech and a completed online application are required. Incomplete applications are unable to be considered by the selection committee.

Documents are required to be submitted in PDF format with the applicant's first and last name.

Applications are available online at

UK holds two ceremonies for December graduates with both ceremonies held at Rupp Arena.

Friday, Dec. 20:

  • 10 a.m.: College of Agriculture, Food and Environment; College of Education; College of Engineering; College of Fine Arts; College of Medicine; College of Social Work; College of Public Health; College of Pharmacy; Martin School of Public Policy and Administration; Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce
  • 3 p.m.: College of Arts and Sciences; Gatton College of Business and Economics; College of Communication and Information; College of Design; College of Health Sciences; College of Nursing

For questions or more information concerning the student speaker application process, please contact Jessica Waters

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion two years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. The Chronicle of Higher Education judged us a “Great College to Work for," and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for three straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.