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Senior Oration

The Senior Oration is a regular part of Commencement in which a graduating senior delivers a 5-7 minute speech to the Commencement audience.  A Senior Orator is chosen for each ceremony by a selection committee, in a multi-stage process beginning in January.  Senior Orations are characterized by a cohesive theme and often include anecdotes from the Orators' individual college experiences that resonate with their peers and families in the audience.

Here are the speeches that were delivered to the selection committee by the three or four finalists in recent Senior Orator Competitions. Only two of the finalists are chosen each year but all of the finalists work hard and well on the speeches they prepare for the final selection. 

Please click on the name of the individual whose speech you would like to read, it will open into a PDF.

2014 Finalist Orations: M. Aldridge, E. Andrew, C. Birkby, S. Lueng, A. Ridall, A. Tomassini., R. Wheeler

2013 Finalist Orations: M. Castle, A. Hoppe, M. Milana, A. Priore, A. Schiffhauer

2012 Finalist Orations: D. Ciruzzi, D. Simmons, K. Licatese, C. Plantin, G. Roloff

2011 Finalist Orations: C. Damore, F. Harvey, M. Cosgrove, S. Christopher

2010 Finalist Orations: A. Kroopnick, G. Henderson, S. Harwood, J. Diaz

2009 Finalist Orations:  A. Tramposch, L. Kimmerer, W. Sankey

2008 Finalist Orations:  B. See, E. Hurley, M. Einstein


For those who wish to apply for the 2016 Senior Oration:  Please don't try to re-create these speeches in your application. These samples are available to show that several different topics and approaches can be successfully used for a Senior Oration.  Remember, the deadline for application is January 25, 2016. 

The students who deliver the orations will be chosen by a competition, open to all graduating seniors. Students may self-nominate by submitting a brief application and thematic statement, by Monday, January 25.  Students may also be nominated by a faculty or staff member.  (Nominated students will be notified and asked to submit the application form.)

The Senior Orators will be chosen by a selection committee, in a multi-stage process. 

Please apply online at:

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