We are pleased to know that you are considering an application to speak at the University College Virtual Commencment Ceremony. 

The University College student commencement speaker will prepare a three-to-seven-minute speech addressed to current BAS and BLS graduates. The bulleted list below shares your next steps and the beginning of the applicant process. 

  • Review speech guidelines and deadlines below.
  • Send an email to uc-asc@uiowa.edu indicating your interest.
  • Submit a written draft of your three-to-seven-minute speech to uc-asc@uiowa.edu by the deadline.
  • A University College committee will review all submitted commencement speeches.
  • The selected student must then record and submit their commencement speech. Directions and tips on recording your speech will be provided to the selected speaker.

University College Virtual Commencement Student Speaker 

Thank you for your interest in being considered for the student speaker at the Virtual Commencement ceremony for University College. We look forward to reading your speech! 


Please note all dates and deadlines at 


Guidelines for submitting a commencement speech: 

  • Interested students will submit a written draft of their speech to uc-asc@uiowa.edu. 

  • Selected speaker(s) will be notified by email and have an opportunity to receive feedback on their speech draft. 

  • Student commencement speakers must submit a commencement RSVP indicating they plan to attend the University College Virtual Commencement Ceremony (see below). 

  • Speeches should be three to seven minutes long; read your speech out loud and time it. 

  • Students will record a video of their speech to be included in our virtual commencement ceremony. Tips and assistance with video recording are available.  

  • Students can record their speech using their preferred software. Alternatively, studio space is available in Calvin Hall for students able to travel to campus to record. 


As you work on your speech draft, we’d like you to consider the following. 

  • If you are selected as the commencement speaker, your name and program of study will be displayed on screen as your speech begins. At some point in your speech please formally introduce yourself and the program of study you’re earning (i.e., Bachelor of Applied Studies). 

  • Successful speakers will pick a theme--some specific lesson, idea, or individual takeaway from your time here--and carry that message throughout the speech. 

  • Be specific with your message, even if it doesn’t capture everything. Rather than attempting to capture the totality of your IOWA career, spend more time fully describing and unpacking a few ideas. 

  • There is something we can learn from you. Perhaps it’s tied to your identity: who you are, and how you’ve changed here. Include personal narratives to which your graduating cohort can relate through shared experience. 

  • Consider the occasion but avoid cliché. Commencement is a time for celebration, togetherness, and recognition of shared accomplishments. Your speech should reflect this, in unique and thoughtful ways. 


To be considered for student speaker, you must RSVP “I plan to attend” the University College Virtual Commencement Ceremony. 

  • The RSVP process at IOWA is an Opt-In system which is required to be recognized in the University College Virtual Commencement Ceremony. 

  • The RSVP portal opens approximately on the first day of the semester commencement.  

  • The RSVP portal is located in MyUI within the Degrees/Graduation tile, then selecting Commencement Attendance. 

  • Only students who RSVP "I plan to participate" by the published deadline will be recognized at the University College Virtual Commencement Ceremony. 

  • You are encouraged to upload a photo to appear on your slide during the virtual ceremony. 


If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at uc-asc@uiowa.edu. 

To be directed to a .pdf document containing these guidelines press: Student Speaker Guidelines, University College

Fall 2024 Commencement Speaker Deadlines - please check back in June for published deadlines for Fall commencement.