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Student Speaker and Creative Performance Competition

The College of Arts and Sciences is issuing a call for entries to be a student speaker or creative performer at the Spring 2020 Commencement. The selected students must be receiving a bachelor’s degree in the spring or summer 2020 semester.

A committee of students, faculty, and staff will select a student in each of the categories described below:

Commencement Speech

The speech should emphasize experiences unique to the College of Arts and Sciences and the University of Tennessee, have an over-arching theme, be well written, and adhere to a time constraint of four minutes. Finalists will be asked to present their speech to the committee prior to final selection.

Creative Performance

A student will be selected to present a creative expression such as (but not limited to) a vocal or instrumental performance or a dramatic reading or monologue. The performance cannot exceed four minutes in length.

Deadline for Submission:

Interested graduating students must submit commencement speeches and creative performances for consideration by 5:00 p.m. on March 23, 2020The commencement ceremony will be held at 9:00 a.m., Saturday, May 9, 2020, at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Requirements for submission:

Commencement Speech

  1. Submissions must be sent via e-mail to
  2. Attach the speech in “.doc” and “.pdf” formats.
  3. Attach a resume that includes your e-mail address and local phone number.

Creative Performance

  1. Create a video of your performance. Make sure your video is an accurate representation of your performance. Please do not edit your video (i.e., do not add or delete transitions, create “special effects,” etc.) such that it cannot be replicated live in its entirety.
  2. Upload your video to YouTube. Please mark it as “unlisted” (this option is available on the upload page) to ensure that only the review committee can view your proposed performance.
  3. Send a link to the video, along with a resume that includes your e-mail address and local phone number, to

Note: If you do not have your own recording equipment, video cameras and other recording equipment are available from the Studio in Hodges Library. It is free to check out equipment, but the Studio requires previously un-trained students to watch a short certification video before making an equipment reservation. To make a reservation, and to find additional information, visit