Student commencement speakers were officially announced on April 6. Senior operations, supply chain management and information systems major Emily Bielefeld and international relations graduate student Brandon White will represent the Class of 2015 at the commencement ceremonies in May.
According to Vice President for Student and Campus Affairs and Dean of Students Kory Vitangeli, students in the University of Indianapolis community first nominated both the undergraduate and graduate student commencement speakers. There were 10 undergraduate students and three graduate students nominated. The nominees were asked to create a 30-second video about the speech they would give at graduation. Bielefeld and White were officially selected.
“I was in Washington, D.C., taking care of post-graduation things when I was told to create my video, so it actually worked out really well,” White said. “It was cool that I got to use the nation’s capital as my video backdrop.”
Bielefeld and White said the topic of each speech is completely at their discretion, but they are collaborating to make sure their topics have the same general theme.
Bielefeld and White said the commencement responsibilities and privileges are few, but mighty. Both students are generally responsible for delivering a commencement address and being a representative of the Class of 2015.
“Brandon and I have the privilege to walk with the platform party during the procession and lead the rest of the graduates into the stadium,” Bielefeld said. “During commencement, Brandon and I will be sitting on stage with the platform party.”
Despite the pressure, both candidates are cherishing this final moment in their university careers.
“When I first found out, I was flattered,” White said. “I mean, it’s an honor to even be considered. Once it came to making the video and waiting for it to be voted on, I was nervous, because I realized I really wanted it. I am excited and thankful that I was chosen to experience this opportunity. It’s a very unique thing to be able to do. It’s not even a once-in-a-lifetime type of thing.”
Bielefeld said she felt honored to be selected and is excited to have the experience.
“This is the most picture-perfect ending to this chapter of my life,” Bielefeld said. “And it will be amazing to see commencement from a different point of view.”