Commencement Speakers and Singers
Speakers at the Small Ceremony Sites
Immediately following the Georgetown Law Commencement Main Ceremony, graduates divide into their First Year Section or Graduate Divisions for individual recognition. Each group will select one graduating student from their small group to give a speech during the ceremony.
Graduating students interested in auditioning to be their group's speaker must submit a three to five minute video audition showcasing their speaking and presentation skills. The speech in the video must be the speech that the graduate will give at the ceremony. The selection of the speaker is made by those graduating with that speaker; voting is conducted on Org Sync by section/division.
There is no limit to the number of audition submissions per group. All candidates must first register in OrgSync beginning Sunday, March 4, 2018. ALL video submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 19, 2018. The OrgSync links will be uploaded before registration begins.
- The speech can be no longer than five minutes. This works out to be about two typed pages, double spaced. Remember, you will be speaking into a microphone, most likely at a slower rate than you would during regular conversation. You and your audience will have just listened to one or more very lengthy speeches by the honorary degree recipient(s), so brevity will be very much appreciated.
- If your speech is selected, a little tweaking is fine, but the speech you present on the video submission is the speech you must present at graduation.
- Speeches can be given only by a single (one) person, not duos or groups.
- The Dean of Students must approve all speeches prior to Commencement.
- Winners will be announced via email in early-April. Voting results for candidates will not be released at anytime.
- March 4, 2018: Registration Opens through Org Sync
- March 19, 2018 at 11:59pm: Speaker Video Submissions Due through Org Sync
- March 27-28, 2018: Speaker Voting on Org Sync
The content and form of the speech are completely up to you. The following are just suggestions - not requirements, and they are based upon speeches that have been selected in previous years.
- Keep the audience in mind. The bulk of the audience is not compromised of classmates from your first year section or graduate division; it is the family and friends of your classmates. If the speech is too steeped in legal jargon and points of law, you will lose the bulk of your audience.
- Humor is nice, but you are not doing stand-up. Make sure there is some substance to what you say.
- Avoid inappropriate language or anything that could be offensive to your audience.
- A well-choose anecdote from the first year, common professors, or common experiences usually goes over well and is appreciated and contributes to section/division identity. Remember to make it as accessible to people who weren't there.
- It is one thing to mention a significant person or two from your section/division for leadership or service, but do not try to reference every single member of your section.
- A quote from a Shakespeare is fine, but don't go overboard and let him write half of your speech.
- Don't write an entire speech that rhymes. Every year someone does this and the voters say, "Wasn't that cute?" But unless you are Dr. Seuss, it never wins.
- On behalf of your section, thank those who helped make you make it through the experience of law school. You did, after all, not make it alone.
- Challenge your classmates to use what they have learned to make the world a better place.
- PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE! before you record.
Below are a few examples of speeches from previous years:
Please contact the Office of Student Life at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a graduating student and interested in participating in the singing of the National Anthem at the main ceremony please contact the Office of Student Life at email@example.com.