- Open to all graduating full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students who are in good standing.
- One valedictorian for each of the following convocation ceremonies will be selected:
- Faculties of Business, Social Sciences and Humanities
- Faculty of Health Sciences
- Faculties of Engineering and Science
- Valedictorians will speak at the convocation in which they graduate, and the selected valedictorians will be notified of the date and time of their convocation
- The valedictorian will write and deliver an address (no longer than five minutes) to fellow graduates, faculty, honoured guests, family and friends attending the convocation ceremony.
- This process applies for either a virtual or in-person ceremony, depending on the decision of the institution
- If you have any questions about this information package and nomination form, please use our contact form.
- Any undergraduate or graduate student, or faculty member.
- Students may nominate themselves.
- If an Associate Dean Graduate Studies nominates a student for valedictorian, they will recuse themselves from the selection committee and provide an alternate from their faculty.
Selection committees are comprised of both faculty and students from the following areas of campus:
- All six Associate Deans Graduate (Business, Engineering, Health Sciences, Humanities, Science and Social Sciences) or faculty designate in case of conflict of interest,
- One to two members of the Graduate Student Association,
- The MSU Vice President Education, or designate.
The selection committee will focus on the following three areas academic excellence, personal characteristics and interpersonal skills, and communication skills, based on criteria set out by the Tri-Councils. Below is the breakdown for each section:
High academic achievement is required. Academic achievement includes both performance in any undergraduate or graduate level courses. As demonstrated by past academic results, transcripts, awards, and distinctions. Indicators of academic excellence:
- academic record
- scholarships and awards held
- duration of previous studies
- type of program and courses pursued
- course load
- relative standing (if available)
Personal characteristics and interpersonal skills
As demonstrated by the applicant’s past professional and relevant extracurricular interactions and collaborations. Indicators of personal characteristics and interpersonal skills:
- work experience
- leadership experience
- project management, including organizing conferences and meetings
- ability or potential to communicate complex concepts clearly and logically in written and oral formats
- involvement in academic life
- volunteerism/community outreach
Candidates selected from nominations based on academic excellence and personal characteristics an interpersonal skills will be invited to submit additional materials, including the full text of their speech, a one-paragraph abstract, and a two-minute video recording of any portion of their speech (full speech is a maximum of 5 minutes). The selection committee will review materials, and may submit follow up questions for nominees.
Valedictorian dates and deadlines
August 10: Nominations open. Full nomination and application information is available on AwardForce. Nominations will be completed through this online platform.
Monday, September 26, 8 a.m.: AwardForce nominations/applications must be completed by 8 a.m. ET. Late nominations will not be accepted.
Wednesday, October 5: Selected candidates will be notified that they have moved to Stage 2 of the Valedictorian Selection Process.
Thursday, October 13, 8 a.m.: Selected candidates will upload the text of their speech, a one-paragraph abstract, and a 2-minute video of a portion of their valedictory address.
Friday, October 21: Those selected to present a Valedictorian Address will be contacted via email.
Nomination package requirements
- AwardForce submission completed. Go to AwardForce now.
- Maximum two-page letter outlining why the graduate student accepts the nomination or is nominating themself; this letter should address the candidate’s academic achievements, personal characteristics, interpersonal skills, and McMaster and/or community involvement.
- Why do you want to be Valedictorian?
- One copy of the nominee’s curriculum vitae (CV).
- Two (2) letters of reference one academic and one from a peer. Both letters should speak to the nominee’s achievements, leadership, and communication ability.
- Letters from the selection committee will not be permitted.
Candidates are advised not to include any other materials, as they will be removed from the nomination package. Students are not required to submit a copy of their transcript; Graduate Studies will verify the student’s academic standing.
Valedictorian contact form
Questions? Use our contact form below
Please use this form only if you have a question pertaining to the 2022 Fall Valedictorian information package or process.
- All fields are required.