December 2018 Graduates: Apply to be Commencement Speaker

Esias Bedingar delivers the student Commencement address at a May 2018 ceremony. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 18, 2018) In line with university tradition, two outstanding students will have the opportunity to deliver a three- to five-minute Commencement address at one of the University of Kentucky Commencement ceremonies this December.

Applications for student speaker will be accepted through Oct. 31. The selection committee will review applications from students with all degree types, not just undergraduate students as has been done in the past.

Students interested in applying must be receiving a degree from UK at one of the December Commencement ceremonies. August 2018 and December 2018 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

To better accommodate UK graduates and their families and friends, UK now holds two ceremonies for December graduates. Both ceremonies will be held at Rupp Arena.

Friday, Dec. 14:

  • 10 a.m.: College of Agriculture, Food and Environment; College of Education; College of Engineering; College of Fine Arts; Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce; Martin School of Public Policy and Administration; College of Medicine; College of Pharmacy; College of Public Health; College of Social Work
  • 2 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 about the student speaker application process, contact