How Senior Orators are chosen
Brown is unique among Ivy League institutions in featuring graduating seniors, rather than outside dignitaries, as Commencement speakers. The nomination period is typically the first two weeks of December. Candidates may be nominated by faculty, deans, or other seniors and self-nominations are permitted. Nominees are notified during winter break and asked to submit a 1-2 page excerpt of their proposed speeches by the first week of February. A committee comprised of faculty, seniors, and the Associate Dean for Research and Upperclass Studies conducts a name-blind review of all submissions and selects 8-10 finalists. Finalists are asked to draft a complete version of their speeches and to deliver them before the Committee in early April. The Committee then selects the two students who will serve as Commencement Orators.
Please contact Dean Besenia Rodriguez in the Dean of the College Office with any questions regarding the Commencement speaker selection process.