Becoming Valedictorian

Valedictorian Contest

Valedictorian at Podium 2

Convocation is a joyous event, bound by traditions that have evolved over centuries.  One of the traditional parts of Convocation is the Valedictorian speech. The term “valedictorian” comes from the Latin vale dicere, “to say farewell”.  During the Convocation ceremony, the Valedictorian delivers a formal address on behalf of the graduating class. Representing the graduating class as Valedictorian is a great honour and a unique pleasure for the graduate and his/her family and friends.  Your fellow graduates, professors and others who are present at Convocation very much look forward to hearing the speech as one of the highlights of the ceremony.

The successful candidate (s) will be selected by the Valedictorian Committee, to which they will present the speech as part of the selection process.  The student who is selected as Valedictorian will have the benefit of coaching and guidance on how to polish the speech and prepare it for delivery at the ceremony.

Guidelines for preparing the speech:

  • The speech should be no longer than five minutes in length (approximately 700 words).
  • It should be thought provoking, mature, celebratory and appropriate for delivery at Convocation.
  • The speech should be relevant to all graduating students and reflective of Saint Mary’s University.
  • It should reflect who you are as a person and a graduate.

In addition to submitting an application, students should provide a brief statement about the reasons why they wish to deliver the Valedictorian address.

Specific contest details and deadlines will be advertised in advance and potential graduates will be notified via e-mail prior to each Valedictorian contest.  Students should ensure they apply for graduation by the requisite deadlines and maintain their up-to-date contact information through Self-Service Banner.

Valedictorian Contest Application:

Spring 2021 Valedictorian Application

Complete and return the application form to by Monday, March 8, no later than 3:00pm.

Valedictorian Contest Tentative Dates:

Spring Convocation                                  March 12, 2021

Fall Convocation                                       TBA

Winter Convocation                                  TBA      


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