Apply to Speak at Spring 2024 University Commencement Graduation

One graduate and one undergraduate student that will be graduating in the spring of 2024 from the College of Business will be chosen to deliver a brief inspirational speech at the University commencement (Friday, May 3, 2024).

Commencement Student Speaker Responsibilities: It is a great honor to be selected as a commencement speaker for the College of Business. The individual is chosen to represent the 2024 graduating class of the College of Business. Only two student speakers may be chosen from each college to speak in front of approximately a few thousand students, faculty, parents, alumni, and guests.

  • The ideal commencement student speaker should strive to inspire and motivate the audience (both graduates and guests) in an inclusive manner.
  • The content should be relevant, encouraging, and memorable. It should reflect on the mission, vision, and values of the College of Business while including the student’s academic experience and the realm of possibilities for the graduates’ futures.

Required Application materials must include:

  • A letter of interest indicating undergraduate or graduate level and a brief outline of the applicant’s proposed speech (the speech must be no longer than five spoken minutes or 700 words)
  • Current resume with Minnesota State Mankato accomplishments, involvement, and/or special recognition (e.g. Leadership, student organizations, committees or boards, volunteerism, awards, scholarships, research, or unique study opportunities)
  • Submit materials to Melissa Ridler, Executive Assistant to the Dean and Associate Dean:
  • Deadline to submit materials: Friday, March 1 at 4:00 pm

Criteria for College of Business Commencement Student Speaker will be based on:

  • Graduate or undergraduate
  • Strong academic performance (Minimum 3.0 GPA and in good standing)
  • Demonstrated involvement as a College of Business student and impact to Minnesota State Mankato
  • Audition (quality of speech and public speaking skills)

Upon receipt of submissions, three finalists (fall: one speaker; spring: one each for undergraduate student and one for graduate student) will be asked to present their speech to the Commencement Speaker Selection Committee (Thursday, March 28 between 1-3pm).  The Committee will provide any additional assistance to the student speakers in preparation for the University Commencement Ceremony.

Final student speakers will be chosen by March 29 with a final draft of the speech due on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.

Congratulations to our past graduation speakers!

Fall 2023

Lauren Reuter Accounting

Spring 2023 (undergraduate)

Mariana Dermenji  Marketing

Spring 2023 (graduate)

Kaitlyn Schroeder Master of Accounting

Fall 2022

Andrew Kienholz Marketing

Spring 2022 

Manav Mendonca Management and Marketing

Fall 2021

Dylan Reiss Accounting
Spring 2021 Kwadwo Owusu Finance and Accounting
Fall 2020 Mason Vlaanderen Management 
Spring 2020 Margaret Knier Marketing
Fall 2019 Hannah Perez Marketing
Spring 2019    
Fall 2018 Matou Fofana Accounting 
Spring 2018 Allison Thies Finance
Fall 2017 Macarena Garcia Soto International Business
Spring 2017 Austin Raebel Finance
Fall 2016 Madelyn Hertaus Management 
Spring 2016 April Femrite MBA
Fall 2015 DeAndre Cunningham Finance/Business Adm
Spring 2015 Shin Zie Lai Macc
Fall 2014 Mark Blashack Management 
Spring 2014 Matthew Lindquist Finance
Fall 2013 Chad Hess Accounting 
Spring 2013 Anuka Rodrigo IB/Mgmt/Marketing
Fall 2012 Kimberly Olson Management 
Spring 2012 Justin Hines Marketing
Fall 2011 Sarah Mahn Acctg. & Finance
Spring 2011 Andrew Meinert MBA
Fall 2010 Michael Robinson Finance
Spring 2010 Marie Johnson Marketing/IB 
Fall 2009 Kyle Ahlman Management 
Spring 2009 Molly Dircks Finance
Fall 2008 Alecia Prins Marketing/IB 
Spring 2008 Evangelos Kourkafas MBA
Fall 2007 John Baltes Accounting 
Spring 2007 Emily Toot Management 
Fall 2006 Kevin Bender Finance
Spring 2006 Robert Wills Marketing/IB 
Fall 2005 Jon Hart Marketing/IB 
Spring 2005 Gordana Copic  Management