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Commencement Speaker Nomination Process to Change
Commencement Speaker Nomination Process to ChangeOctober 28, 2002Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
Starting this fall, the process for nominating speakers for the University’s Commencement will be handled by a student committee made up of the class marshals, the marshals from the schools and colleges, and the three Student Association/Graduate Student Organization-selected undergraduate and graduate representatives to the Syracuse University Board of Trustees.
This is a change from the system used for the past four years, in which the deans each named two graduating students to sit on a special committee charged by the Chancellor to make nominations. The change was recommended to Chancellor Shaw by a committee he charged with examining the speaker selection process. The committee, headed by University marshals Robert McClure and Sandra Hurd, included students, faculty and staff members and met during September and early October.
Class, school and college marshals had traditionally made nominations in years past. However, since their selection did not occur until November, the Chancellor’s Office often found it difficult to book a popular speaker so late in the academic year. To accommodate the need for timeliness, selection of the class, school and college marshals will now take place by the end of the spring semester, enabling the speaker selection committee to begin the nomination process early in the fall semester. The 2003 marshals have been selected, and the speaker selection committee will meet for the first time on Oct. 29.
Also new this year is a Web site through which students and other members of the University community can make suggestions for the 2003 Commencement speaker. The Web site, http://www.syr.edu/calendars/commencement, is now active and provides a link for speaker suggestions for review by the selection committee. Suggestions may be submitted until Nov. 8.
As always, the Chancellor will make the final selection of the Commencement speaker basing his decision on a speaker’s availability, affordability and appropriateness to the occasion. Questions about the new process can be directed to the Office of Special Events at 443-4631.