March 3: Are you our 2021 CCO Commencement Speaker?

Dear Graduating Student:

As we recently shared, we are planning a virtual commencement for the Champlain College Online Class of 2021 on Saturday, May 15. We are committed to hosting a meaningful, personal, and memorable virtual ceremony that lifts up your class, showcases your years at Champlain, and includes our many commencement traditions. One of the traditions that makes the ceremony special is to feature student speakers from your graduating class.

We’re inviting you to consider speaking on behalf of your classmates during the 2021 virtual Commencement ceremony. Do you feel like you can inspire and motivate the class of 2021?  If so, we encourage you to submit an application, or encourage a fellow student to apply, by March 23rd. Two graduates—one from the Bachelor’s and one from the Master’s Class of 2021—will be selected to speak.

To be considered for Student Commencement Speaker, applicants must:

  • Have earned a current GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Have displayed good citizenship as a member of the online student community
  • Must be mindful of the audience including a diversity of graduates, families and friends
  • Be willing to work virtually with our professional staff to refine the final speech and rehearse delivery in the days leading up to commencement. 

Guidelines for a Student Commencement Speech submission include:

  • A complete online application form
  • A draft script of approximately 3-4 minutes of original content
  • A sample video uploaded of you delivering the speech in a quiet space with clear audio

Elements of a successful Student Commencement Speech can include:

  • A message that inspires, encourages and reflects the vision and hopes of the graduates.
  • A compelling story that incorporates your Champlain College experience (e.g., volunteerism, balancing work/school, involvement in community, overcoming hurdles, taking risks, a transcendent learning experience, or others).
  • A message that appeals to a diverse audience of graduates, families and friends and is substantive, meaningful, entertaining and suitable to the occasion.
  • A clear and cohesive organization of ideas and message.
  • A delivery that includes eye contact, poise, vocal and visual presentation.

What you need to do:

Submit this online application by Tuesday, March 23.  A committee of faculty and staff will review all submissions and a graduating student speaker will be chosen by mid-April, 2021.  If you have questions or need additional information please contact

Dr. Johnna Herrick-Phelps
Vice President for Online Education

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