Suggest a Commencement Speaker

The Syracuse University Commencement speaker is chosen through an annual selection process that starts when students, staff, faculty, alumni, and others in the community offer speaker suggestions through this website. The list is collected, duplicates removed and periodically updated on this page.

Speaker Selection Process

The speaker selection process begins more than one year in advance of Commencement. The chosen speaker joins a long list of distinguished past Commencement speakers who have shared their thoughts, perspectives, and wisdom with Syracuse University graduates.

Student Committee

All names submitted through the website are compiled in an alphabetically unranked list and given to the official speaker selection committee composed of

  • senior class marshals (two seniors who represent the entire graduating class at commencement and who chair the committee);
  • student marshals from each of the University’s schools and colleges who represent their classmates;


This all-student committee reviews the names collected on the Commencement speaker suggestion list. Following their deliberations, the committee presents a list of proposed speakers to the University Senate, who then presents the list to the Chancellor. The Chancellor reviews the list and makes a final decision on the basis of relevance to the Syracuse University community, availability, and reasonableness of cost.

Suggest a Speaker

Complete the form