May Graduates: Apply to be Student Speaker at Commencement

Jared Scott
Jared Scott speaks at the May 2016 Commencement ceremony.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 28, 2017) In keeping with University of Kentucky tradition, a student will be selected to speak at each of the four UK Commencement ceremonies this May.

Since doctoral, master's and baccalaureate degree recipients will now be recognized together based on their colleges, the selection committee will accept applications from students with all degree types, not just undergraduate students as in past years.

Students receiving a doctoral, master's or undergraduate degree in December 2016, May 2017 or August 2017 at the May 2017 Commencement ceremony interested in speaking must submit their application by Monday, April 3. Students who wish to apply must submit a resume and a copy of their three-five minute proposed speech no longer than three-typed, double-spaced pages. In addition, applicants must have contributed to the university through campus, community activities or through their chosen field of study and show evidence of demonstrated public speaking ability. Incomplete applications will not be considered by the selection committee. The committee may contact any applicant for a 15-minute interview and speech demonstration.

Applications are available online at

To accommodate rising numbers and to provide a better experience for UK graduates and their families and friends, the university will hold four ceremonies over the course of two days. All four will be held at Rupp Arena.

Friday, May 5:

  • 10 a.m. - College of Agriculture, Food and Environment; College of Communication and Information; College of Public Health; The Martin School of Public Policy and Administration; The Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce
  • 2 p.m. - College of Business and Economics, College of Health Sciences, College of Fine Arts, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy

Sunday, May 7:

  • 10 a.m. - College of Arts and Sciences; College of Social Work; College of Design 
  • 2 p.m. - College of Education; College of Engineering; College of Medicine

Read more about the May 2017 Commencement schedule here.

All May graduates should register for Commencement at