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Graduate valedictorian process

The deadline to apply to be the graduate valedictorian is May 31, 2024.

Starting in fall 2024, each of the five convocation ceremonies will feature a graduate student valedictorian. 

  • Friday, October 25 

    • Morning: Faculty of Health & Environment 

    • Afternoon: Faculty of Math 

    • Evening: Faculty of Science 

  • Saturday, October 26 

    • Morning: Faculty of Arts 

    • Afternoon: Faculty of Engineering 

The Faculties of Environment and Health will have graduate valedictorians in alternating years. In 2024, the graduate valedictorian will be from the Faculty of Environment. As such, we will not be accepting applications for graduate valedictorians from the Faculty of Health for fall 2024 convocation. 

The valedictorian will attend the in-person convocation ceremony and deliver an address of no longer than five minutes to fellow graduates, faculty, honoured guests, family, and friends at the ceremony. Any costs associated with attending convocation, such as accommodation or travel, are the responsibility of the valedictorian.

Eligibility criteria

  • Must be a graduate student of the faculty for which they are applying to be a valedictorian
    • Joint program students can apply to either faculty
  • Must graduate at spring 2024 convocation or will graduate at fall 2024 convocation
  • Must be able to attend in-person convocation ceremony

Selection criteria

Academic excellence (30)

The valedictorian must have high academic achievement within graduate-level courses, as demonstrated by the following:

  • Academic record
  • Scholarships and awards
  • Duration of previous studies
  • Type of program and courses pursued
  • Course load
  • Relative standing (if applicable)

Personal characteristics and interpersonal skills (70)

The valedictorian must have strong interpersonal skills and personal characteristics, as demonstrated by the following:

  • Ability or potential to effectively orally communicate and maintain engagement
  • Demonstrated capacity to articulate complex concepts clearly and logically in written and oral formats
  • Substantive involvement in academic/university life
  • Leadership experience
  • Volunteer/community outreach experience
  • Professional experience
  • Project management, including organizing conferences and meetings

Application process

  1. Interested graduate students complete the Graduate valedictorian application form, including uploading a curriculum vitae (CV) and unofficial transcript
  2. Interested graduate students receive endorsement from three (3) nominators who complete the Valedictorian endorsement form
    1. Endorsers must be members of the University community (students, staff, faculty, or alumni)
    2. If an Associate Dean, Graduate Studies is one of the endorsers, they must declare a conflict of interest in their role as part of their faculty selection committee

Selection process

  1. Faculty-level review and selection: faculties review submissions and select three (3) candidates for institutional-level review
  2. Institutional review and selection: GSPA invites selected candidates for an interview and for candidate to present their proposed 5-minute speech to an institutional selection committee