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Nominate Commencement Speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients

Committee on Commencement Speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients

President Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D., and the Board of Trustees of Iona College invite nominations for commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients. Students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff are all welcome to participate in the nomination process. All nominees must reflect the values and mission of Blessed Edmund Rice, the Christian Brothers and Iona College. The committee will review nominees to determine if they meet our criteria listed below. President Nyre and the board of trustees will make the final selections.

Committee Chair:  Dr. Colleen Jacobson, associate professor of Psychology
 

Criteria for Commencement Speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients

The selection of a commencement speaker and awarding of honorary degrees is taken seriously. All nominees must reflect the values and mission of Iona College.

Nominees must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Have a distinguished record of service to humanity, peace and justice
  • Have made important contributions to Catholic education
  • Have exhibited exemplary leadership in public service or business
  • Have distinguished intellectual and creative achievements
  • An Iona alumnus with a distinguished record of achievement in his/her field
  • An Iona alumnus with a distinguished record of service to society

Nomination Process

To make a nomination please complete the form in the link below. The committee will review all nominees. Nominees deemed worthy of further consideration will be forwarded to President Nyre. The president and board of trustees will make the final decision and be responsible for contacting and scheduling nominees for the commencement ceremony.

Commencement speakers will be chosen based on the criteria discussed above. As the commencement ceremony is a celebration of the accomplishments of our graduating class, Commencement speakers should have the ability to give a positive, meaningful and inspirational address to the graduating class and their families. It is also our practice to confer an honorary degree upon commencement speakers.

In selecting honorary degree recipients, Iona College seeks individuals whose achievements reflect the values and mission of Blessed Edmund Rice, the Christian Brothers and Iona College. Honorary degree recipients must possess a distinguished record of service to humanity, peace and justice.

The committee will consider nominees for two years from the date of nomination. If a nominee is not selected within the two-year period, they will be removed from the list of potential candidates.

Nomination Form

 

Student Speakers For Commencement 2019

Graduating students who would like to be considered for the role of student speaker during the May 2019 Commencement ceremony, and who meet the criteria listed below, should submit a letter of application to Dr. Michael Jordan, Office of the Provost, McSpedon Hall. Be sure to include your contact information in the letter. Two students will be selected from among the applicants, one from the baccalaureate programs and one from the master's degree programs. The application letter is due by February 8, 2019.

Academic Criteria for Eligibility

  • Baccalaureate Degree Students 3.50 GPA
  • Master’s Degree Students
    • School of Business 3.75 GPA
    • School of Arts & Science 3.75 GPA

(Please note that you must have applied for graduation in the Office of Student Financial Services and been determined eligible for February, June, or August 2019 degree conferral in order to serve as a student speaker during the commencement ceremony.)

Please include the following information in the application letter:

  1. A description of academic record, including the program of study, academic honors, and other examples of scholastic achievement.
  2. A description of service to the Iona Community, including active and significant participation in co-curricular and extracurricular life; for returning adult students or students in the master’s program, emphasis may be on service to the general community.
  3. A description of the purpose/theme of the proposed speech, or a brief outline of the proposed speech. (Do not submit the entire speech; submit a proposal only.) Please Note That The Time Allocated For The Speech Is Two (2) Minutes And Plan Accordingly.
  4. The names and departments of two faculty members at Iona College who are willing to serve as references for you.

Applications will be reviewed by a committee under the auspices of the Office of the Provost. The students who are selected as commencement speakers will be required to work with a faculty member or administrator on the final draft of their speeches as well as on the oral presentation. Selected speakers will have both the delivery and substance of their speech reviewed by May 2, 2019.

For more information, please contact Dr. Michael Jordan, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, at (914) 633-2206, or mjordan@iona.edu.