Criteria and Process for the Selection of Eastern University Commencement Speakers

Nominees for Commencement Speaker should be individuals whose accomplishments and values align with the Christian mission of Eastern University.  It is our strong preference to select future commencement speakers from our alumni body.  Accordingly, we are seeking:

  • Someone who enhances the ceremonies without deflecting from the graduates, whose achievements are center-stage; 
  • Someone with broad appeal who will recognize that the commencement audience is a group of individuals with a diverse range of values, interests, ages and concerns;
  • Someone who is a gifted speaker keeping in mind that the address is unidirectional;
  • Someone with national and/or international standing; and
  • Someone who is considered an exemplary role model.

Often Commencement speakers are also candidates for Honorary Degrees at Eastern University.  In those cases, the following additional criteria reflect the requirements for that consideration:

  • Individuals whose achievements and actions are consonant with the mission of Eastern University and the Kingdom of God;
  • Individuals who are distinguished by their professional, scholarly, intellectual or creative achievement in such fields as religion, scholarship, science, medicine, the law, the arts, business and public service;
  • Individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the welfare and development of Eastern University or the communities that it serves;
  • Individuals who have exhibited exceptional acts of philanthropy;
  • Employees or trustees of Eastern University shall ordinarily not be nominated for honorary degrees while in active service to the University.

Please forward nominations to the Office of the Executive Vice President at  All nominees for Commencement speaker will be reviewed by the Leadership Team in accordance with these stated values. Speaker invitations will be extended by the University President with the affirmation of the Board of Trustees.  

Adopted by Eastern University Leadership Team, September 6, 2016

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