Dear Members of the Campus Community,

As we look forward to 2021 Commencement and Convocation ceremonies, we invite you to submit your nominations of graduating seniors and graduate students for this May’s Commencement weekend. One of our most cherished highlights of ceremonies past have been the inspiring and timely remarks from our graduates.

Please submit the names of nominees and a brief rationale for these nominations to Theresa Williams-Chow, in the Associate Academic Dean’s Office (; Jones Hall 212), no later than Friday, March 5, 2021. The criteria that have been established by the university for the speakers, the screening process, and the committee membership are described below.

Criteria for Student Speakers:

  1. Spring 2021 graduate, either as an undergraduate or graduate degree recipient.
  2. Earned record of academic distinction (demonstrated by GPA of 3.5 or above, as of Fall 2020, or narrative explanation of academic trajectory).
  3. Broad involvement in academic and campus life.
  4. Commitment to preparing a five-minute speech on the responsibilities of a broadly educated person in society today, with special reference to the significance of a Puget Sound education.

Selection Committee Process:

  1. Nominees will be asked to provide the selection committee with a brief statement about their campus activities and the themes they might address in a Commencement/Convocation speech.
  2. Four to six finalists will be selected by the first week of April.
  3. The finalists will deliver a brief speech to (and be interviewed by) the selection committee in April.
  4. A selection of two student speakers, one for Commencement and one for the Academic Convocation, will be made by the end of April. At that time, the selected speakers will be notified and provided comments and suggestions.

Committee Membership:
Associate Academic Dean Julie Christoph will convene the Selection Committee. The committee includes professors Diane Kelley (French and Francophone Studies) and Nick Brody (Communication Studies); Associate Dean of Students Sarah Comstock; Assistant Director of Alumni and Parent Relations Sandy Drangmeister; Assistant Dean for Operations and Technology Kaity Peake; and graduating seniors Zeno C Deleon Guerrero and Jade Herbert.

We look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of all our graduates in this exceptionally challenging year at Commencement weekend in May and hope you will take time to make your nominations soon.

Isiaah Crawford, Ph.D. | President.