2017 Graduate Student Speakers
Anuoluwapo Osideko MPH '17
Master's Ceremony Student Speaker
"Destined for Greatness"
Alexandria Volkening PhD '17
Doctoral Ceremony Speaker
Read more about Osideko and Volkening and their speeches.
How the speakers are chosen
Brown is unique among Ivy League institutions in featuring graduating master's and doctoral students, rather than outside dignitaries, as Commencement speakers. The nomination period typically spans the month of February. Candidates self-nominate and are asked to submit an excerpt of their proposed speeches. Nominees are strongly encouraged to solicit feedback from faculty, Writing Center staff, and others before submitting their applications. The Graduate Student Council's Nominations Committee reviews all submissions and conducts 10-15 interviews, hearing nominees deliver an excerpt of their speeches. The Nominations Committee selects three finalists each for the master's and doctoral ceremonies. Finalists are asked to deliver a similar excerpt of their speeches before the Graduate Student Council general body during the April meeting. All voting members of Graduate Student Council then select the two candidates, one master's and one PhD, who will serve as Commencement speakers.