Commencement Awards and Keynote Speakers

Honorary Degree and Granite State Awards

Commencement Speaker, Honorary Degrees and Granite State Awards

Commencement is an important part of university life where we celebrate the culmination of hard work and achievement. Commencement awards recognize individuals whose achievements have made significant contributions to the citizens of the State of New Hampshire or society as a whole.

Undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the university are invited to submit nominations for potential commencement speakers, Honorary Degree and Granite State Award recipients to the Honorary Degrees and Granite State Awards Committee for review.

The nomination period is open until October 31 for the following May Commencement ceremony. Please submit your nominations by completing the online form. The committee will review the nominations and provide a list of recommended nominees to the President. If you have any questions, please contact commencement.awards@unh.edu.

Commencement Speaker

Commencement is the University's signature academic event. Choosing an appropriate commencement speaker is a collaborative process that requires careful consideration. Honorary Degrees and Granite State Awards Committee members review commencement speaker suggestions before sending recommendations to the President’s Office.

Commencement speakers are chosen on the basis of their ability to inspire, motivate, and provide enlightenment by sharing experiences that elicit curiosity, instill knowledge, educate, and offer wisdom to students as they enter the next phase of their lives.

Previous Speakers Download the list (PDF).

The ideas for the best speakers typically come from within the University community: students, faculty, staff, alumni, or benefactors who have an existing relationship or contact with suggested speakers. 

If you have a suggestion for a commencement speaker, please visit http://nominations.unh.edu. Information that cannot be submitted or uploaded should be sent to:

Honorary Degrees and Granite State Awards Committee
c/o Office of University Events & Programs
New England Center
15 Strafford Avenue
Durham, NH 03824