2024 Commencement Student Speaker Opportunity

Graduating students, we are excited to offer the opportunity for students earning degrees or certificates in the 2023/2024 academic year to apply to serve as a commencement speaker in this year’s commencement celebrations. This is your chance to reflect on your experiences at OCC and encourage your fellow graduates in their future plans. Addressing your fellow graduates is an honor bestowed upon a select few students. This valuable experience is one that will offer you a chance to influence your fellow graduates in a very positive way. 

We will be selecting one speaker for the 10 a.m. ceremony and one speaker for the 2 p.m. ceremony to be held on Saturday, May 18, at the Oakland University Athletics Center O’rena. 


  1. Students graduating the 2023/2024 Academic Year
  2. Students with a GPA of 3.5 or above
  3. Students with accounts in good standing

For your application to be considered, please apply to graduate.  

Selection Process

  1. Apply to Graduate
  2. Eligible students complete the speaker application form by 11:59 p.m., Sunday, March 10
  3. Applications will be reviewed by the Provost’s Office and narrowed down to the top finalists
  4. Finalists will be contacted by phone and interviewed by Dr. Jennifer Berne, OCC’s Provost
  5. All applicants will be notified of the status of their application by email. Please monitor your OCC email.

Deadlines and Required Participation

Please mark your calendar 

  • Sunday, March 10 (11:59 p.m.): Application due (Sorry, extensions will not be granted)
  • Week of March 11: Finalists notified and scheduled for an interview
  • Week of March 18: Interviews conducted
  • Monday, March 25: Speakers notified
  • Wednesday, April 10: Speaker photo and interview session: 1-3pm; location TBD
  • Monday, April 29: Final speeches due
  • Friday, May 17: Commencement rehearsal – OU Athletics Center O’rena
  • Saturday, May 18: Commencement at OU Athletics Center O’rena

Speech Requirements - Your speech should:

  1. Be 4-6 minutes in length
  2. Highlight personal experiences and be relatable to your fellow graduates
  3. Incorporate this year’s theme: Change Starts with Us

While each of us came to OCC for different reasons, our intent was the same: Change. The potential to change ourselves and future generations. We have worked hard, accomplished our goals and forged new paths forward, together. We have invested in our future. Our time is now! The change starts with us! With this new degree or certificate, we have -- and we will --positively impact change. Change for ourselves and those around us. Change in our  neighborhoods, our community and our world. The door to the future is open as never before. Change starts with us and it starts today.  

Selected speakers will receive guidance and support refining and delivering their speeches from faculty in the Communications/English department.

Next Steps

  1. Complete the application form today. Don’t forget it is due by 11:59 p.m., Sunday, March 10
  2. Questions about the application process can be directed to contactus@oaklandcc.edu.

Thank you for your interest in serving as a commencement speaker.