‘Student Orators’ to speak for graduates

Image: Sakeeb Sabakka

A pilot project to be implemented for upcoming graduation ceremonies offers four graduating students the chance to give a speech, alongside attending honorary graduates.

The students will represent the Class of 2017 by delivering an “aspirational and inspirational” speech, before graduands are invited to accept their degrees.

The opportunity comes as the number of graduation ceremonies have increased in recent years in order to accommodate the growing number of graduands attending the University’s January and July ceremonies. The number of ceremonies to be held has now reached 19 per year, with 12 to be held in July and a further five in January.

Typically, each graduation ceremony has one honorary graduate attending in order to deliver a brief speech. Due to the increased number of ceremonies and in order to the preserve the quality of speeches, the University is extending an invitation to students to share the stage with the presiding stage party, and express their thoughts on their experience at the University of York.

Previous honorary graduates to speak at graduation ceremonies include Helen Fielding, author of the Bridget Jones series, Sally Wainwright, a York alumni and BAFTA award-winning screenwriter of the BBC’s Happy Valley, and ex-England manager Roy Hodgson.

Student President Millie Beach commented: “I’m really excited that the University have taken the opportunity to create a role of ‘student orator’ at our July graduation ceremonies. This is a really great opportunity for students to reflect on their time at York and celebrate their success with their friends. I know the sabbat ical team are all very jealous that we missed the oppor tunity!”

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