The Commencement Address

Commencement is an exciting time for everyone involved. This address should reflect the emotions represented. Keep the following suggestions in mind:

  • You are representing your entire class, and you speak for all of its members.
  • Be selective in your choice of materials. From all of your college experiences, choose those that were truly significant for you and your class.
  • Sincerity is important. You must really believe what you are saying.
  • Use specific illustrations and examples. There are what Aristotle called "the lifeblood" of the speech, and help to hold the audience's attention. Building upon what you have learned in classes is appropriate. The audience will be interested on your studies.
  • A little humor, carefully and gently used, helps to ease tensions and is usually welcomed by the audience.
  • The use of appropriate quotations and a bit of good poetry or pertinent prose help to make what you say memorable.
  • Follow a clearly delineated structure:
    • Talk about the past: Praise those who have contributed to the class. Mention significant group experiences, events, speakers, or highlights of your college career. Show the value of belonging to this class.
    • Talk about the future: We have a responsibility to use our education to make this world a better place. Consider what we must do with our education and advantages. Connect your education to your future.
  • A powerful, memorable, meaningful conclusion will set the tone for the day. An apt quotation, short illustration, or appropriate bit of poetry may help make the point.

The Guidelines

The oration must be original work and must be written and delivered by the contestant. Any type of speech is acceptable (informative, inspirational, persuasive) as well as any subject matter as long as it has the depth and dignity which reflect the tone of the commencement. The speech should be 5-7 minutes long and should be memorized, although the manuscript may be taken to the platform.

The finalists will be chosen on the basis of the content of their orations and their style of delivery. The student should bring an extra copy of the manuscript to the selection contest. This is to endure that the oration used at the contest is the same as the one used in the commencement program. Minor corrections and improvements may be made, but the topic, the main ideas and the theme must remain the same.

If you have further questions, please contact Branden Chambers, at 740.376.4680 or bsc001@marietta.edu.

Past Jewett Prize Winners

Names link to their respective speech when available.

1906 — Walter Carl Kelley

1907 — George Selden Humphrey, Harry Frank Mautz

1908 — William Edward Byers, William Ferdinand Bonar

1909 — No Jewett Prize awarded

1910 — David Rees Williams

1911 — Alice May Crone

1912 — William MacKay

1913 — No Jewett Prize awarded

1914 — Harry Alden Blankenship

1915 — Harold Steen Coil

1916 — Ralph Newton Ogdin

1917 — Melvin J. Haire

1918 — Fred Glenn Jackson

1919 — William Karl Beaver

1920 — Edgar William Norris

1921 — Helen Catherine Beltz

1922 — Kenneth Reppert Ward

1923 — Helen Sprague Newton

1924 — Samuel Newton Dicken

1925 — Roselyn Henrietta Beltz

1926 — Arthur Allen Schoolcraft

1927 — Ida Blanche Hoskin

1928 — Alsoph Henry Corwin

1929 — Ronald Claire Stillman

1930 — Lincoln Gustav Schmidt

1931 — Homer James Hall

1932 — Lucy Andalona McKibben

1933 — Marion Bradford Sloan

1934 — Virginia Lee Neptune, Brooks Edward Wigginton

1935 — Ainslie Burke Miner

1936 — Charles Victor Renner

1937 — Carl Dean Gramlich

1938 — Kathryn Kirby Dedman

1939 — Elinor Imogene Ayers

1940 — Arthur Bartels Logan

1941 — Dorothy Irene Hupp

1942 — Lucy Roberta Holland

1943 — Ontario Horia Nestor

1944 — Virginia Mary Meister

1945 — Gertrude Bigelow Baker

1946 — Robert Louis Strecker

1947 — David Robert Rood

1948 — Harry Robinson Jr.

1949 — Barbara Ann Beiser

1950 — Melvin Paul Mohn

1951 — Edith Elizabeth Bohrer

1952 — Alice Alta Press

1953 — John Sylvester Finlayson

1954 — John Cameron Ahart

1955 — Robert Francis Goreth

1956 — Robert George Finney

1957 — Kenneth Wayne Wall

1958 — Ruth Eleanor Grogg

1959 — Carolyn Lee Griffith

1960 — Nancy Jane Callander

1961 — Judith Ellen Youmans

1962 — Victor Dale Powell

1963 — Judythe Anne Stephan

1964 — Dorothy Sharon Montgomery

1965 — John Edward Hopkins

1966 — Blair Phillips Friederich

1967 — Charles Bernard Shafer

1968 — Valerie Ann Voorhees

1969 — Pamela Sue Ritch

1970 — David Henry Wendelken

1971 — David Alan Goldsmith

1972 — 1. Donna Schelling Carson,
2. Ellen Jo Emerson
1973 — 1. Ernest James Hartong Jr.,
2. George Joseph Cosenza
1974 — 1. Alfred Joseph Bennington Jr.,
2. Maryanne Therese Roque
1975 — 1. Mary Beth Rhoads,
2. Martin Reid Klingeman
1976 — 1. Nancy L. Dare,
2. Kevin J. O'Brien
1977 — 1. Nancy O. Scranton,
2. Charlene C. Samples
1978 — 1. Joseph E. Quinn,
2. Martha M. Kushner
1979 — 1. Dennis J. Murphy,
2. Cynthia A. Klingemier
1980 — 1. William M. Lucas,
2. Kimberly A. Ludwig
1981 — 1. Cornelius Hamel,
2. Debra R. Kline
1982 — 1. Rick E. Eckstein,
2. Duke A. Weller
1983 — Lisa Ann Weekley
 
1984 — 1. Kathyrn L. Ash,
2. Edward Kirchdoerffer
1985 — Melanie Ruscitti
 
1986 — 1. Kristina M. Belanger,
Tied for 2: Linda S. Holbrook, Charisse L. Linke
1987 — 1. Walter J. Kandel,
2. Sheila Norman
1988 — 1. Brent S. Phipps,
2. Diane Smith
1989 — * N. Chris Armistad
Karen Bond Coriell
1990 — 1. Michael Royse Moran
2. Katherine Ann Smith
1991 — 1. Susannah Frances Rohrs
2. Richard Anton Nouza
1992 — 1. Millard W. Draudt
2. Tamara S. Jacoby
1993 — 1. Quimby Barrett Williams
2. Linda Jean Branner
1994 — 1. Linda Lou Boron
2. Nora Jane Cox
1995 — 1. Anna Lynn Custer
2. Jennifer Rebecca Pesci
1996 — Heather D. Hall
 
1997 — 1. Jason Constantino
2. Holly Denise Bowen
1998 — 1. Johnny Cruz
2. Martha Jamieson Alarie
1999 — 1. Heather V. Taylor
2. Danielle Boettcher
2000 — 1. Devin Cogswell
2. Benjamin Allen
2001 — 1. Caroline Guhde
2. Anthony Higgins
2002 — 1. Jennifer Band
2. Matt Majzun
2003 — 1. Kristin Pottmeyer
2. Kasey Drennen
2004 — 1. Elizabeth Schultz
2. Patricia Bailey
2005 — 1. Carrie Lang
2006 — 1. Harry Antonio
2007 — 1. Dan May
2008 — 1. Rosa Hanks
2009 — 1. Jakob Loukas
2010 — 1. Katy Black
2011 — 1. Scott Burnham
2012 — 1. LaTisha Taylor
2013 — 1. Lauren Currie
2015 — 1. C. Taylor Myers
2. Eric A. Miranda-Marin
2016 — 1. Carlos Nucete
2017 — 1. Amy Castle
2. Naser Haneef