Commencement speakers

One of the highest distinctions a student can receive is to be selected to address classmates. It is a chance to represent Binghamton University and Watson College by sharing parting words that inspire, encourage and reflect the vision and hopes of the Class of 2024. The speeches not only commemorate the event but also give students the opportunity to pay tribute to those who have helped them along the way and praise the accomplishments of fellow graduates.

To represent the Class of 2024, two Watson student speakers, one undergraduate student and one graduate student, will be selected to address their classmates at the Commencement ceremony in May 2024. 


  • Be a spring 2024 Watson College candidate (undergraduate and masters students welcome to apply)
  • Be in good disciplinary standing at the University
  • Demonstrate academic success
  • Be an active participant in the University community

Application requirements

Complete applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024, via email to Kimberly Eiche at Only applications that are 100 percent complete will be considered.

Items that must be submitted

  • Personal statement – include information about yourself as well as why you wish to represent your class as the Commencement Student Speaker
  • Résumé - a brief résumé that includes your school, major, and any University activities
  • A complete draft of the speech (no more than 4 minutes) that you would like to give at the Commencement Ceremony
  • Two names of references including contact information. References must be professors, administrators, or staff members at Binghamton University

Selection process and deadlines

Phase I: Submit application materials - 11:59 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28, 2024

Phase II: Application review - Jan. 29-Feb. 2, 2024 

The Watson Commencement Committee will review all applications.

Phase III: Interviews and presentations - to be completed by Friday, Feb. 16, 2024

A brief, 15-minute virtual interview will be conducted with candidates selected by the committee during Phase II (application review). During the interview, the student will be asked to give their prepared speech to the committee. 

Phase IV: Selection - all applicants will receive the committee's decision via email by 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, 2023.

Phase V: The two selected student speakers (one undergraduate, one graduate masters student) will work closely with the Commencement Office to finalize their speech. This includes practice in the speaking lab (as needed), rehearsal in the Events Center, and a final review by the University’s Communications and Marketing Department. Each student will also have a professional headshot taken to be used for publicity. 

Please direct questions to Kimberly Eiche, director of the Watson Career and Alumni Connections office, at