Apply for Speaker, Bell Ringer, and Awards

Monday, February 12, 2018
Spring 2018 Commencement Speaker and Bell Ringers


The Dean of Students Office is conducting a search for the Spring 2018 Student Commencement Speakers and Bell Ringers. Each role is a prestigious honor for the selected individuals.

The qualifications of the Commencement Speaker encompasses a graduating student of high academic qualifications and who demonstrates excellent character through leadership, service, and school spirit.  The selected candidate represents their peers in an articulate and meaningful way by reflecting on their experiences and education at UNC Charlotte during their Commencement ceremony.

The Bell Ringer performs the longstanding tradition of ringing the UNC Charlotte "victory bell", which was gifted to Ms. Bonnie Cone in 1961 when Charlotte College moved from its old site at Central High School to the current UNC Charlotte location.  The qualifications of the Bell Ringer encompasses an outstanding student leader who has demonstrated exemplary 49er spirit within organizations, volunteerism, and/or service to others.

One Speaker and one Bell Ringer will be selected for each ceremony during the Commencement ceremonies.

Applicants for both Commencement Speaker and Bell Ringer must have at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA, be in good conduct standing, and meet graduation clearance requirements set forth by the Office of the Registrar to graduate in December.

Applicants for Commencement Speaker must upload the copy of their written draft of their 2-3 minute (maximum length) speech with their application. The submitted draft should not be substantially revised after submission, though slight revisions of the chosen speech(es) may be suggested by the selection committee. Students are highly encouraged to utilize the services of the University Speaking Center prior to application submission in order to help craft ideas for their speech, and hone speaking skills prior to the audition. Finalists will be required to work with the University Speaking Center in coaching sessions to prepare for the delivery of their speech during the Commencement ceremony.

Online applications will be open from 8:00am February 12, 2018 to 11:45pm March 18, 2018.  Late applications will not be permitted. Auditions for Commencement Speaker will be held on Friday, March 23, 2018 from 8:30am-5pm, in the Dean of Students Office located in King 217. Once you have submitted an application you will be contacted for an audition time. If you are not able to be present for an in-person audition, you may submit a DVD or a YouTube link. You may also use the services of the University Speaking Center to record your audition and submit via to the Dean of Students Office via DVD.

ALL applicants for Commencement Speaker and Bell Ringer will be entered into a prize drawing! Finalists will be invited to join Dean Davis for lunch on Reading Day, will be considered part of the Commencement platform party and sit with University dignitaries during their individual ceremony, and will have the opportunity to have a picture taken with the Chancellor on Commencement Day.

Apply for Speaker *be sure to upload a copy of your finalized speech

Apply for Bell Ringer

Awards and Citations

UNC Charlotte presents several awards to students during the annual Honors and Awards Ceremony at the end of each Spring semester. These awards provide recognition to students who have made significant contributions to UNC Charlotte during their undergraduate career. Recipients of these prestigious honors demonstrate an attitude of unselfish interest in the welfare of their fellow students and the university as a whole. The recipients must have at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA, and be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the university. 

Bonnie E. Cone Leadership Award
The Bonnie E. Cone Leadership Award is presented to a member of the graduating class (May, August or December) whose leadership, scholarship, and service to the university embodies the spirit of Bonnie E. Cone, the founder of the university who devoted her life to the development of UNC Charlotte. The funding for this award is provided by UNC Charlotte alumni who served as student leaders during their tenure on campus.

Noble Niner Award
The Noble Niner Award is awarded to a graduating senior (May, August or December) who leads with integrity and exemplifies the values of the Noble Niner: Respect, Accountability, Dignity, Honor, Compassion, Character, Nobility, and Integrity. 

Chuck Lynch Leadership Award
The Chuck Lynch Leadership Award is presented to a member of the graduating class (May, August or December) in honor of former Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Chuck Lynch, who served the university with distinction for 34 years. This award recognizes student leadership in building relationships and programs while also mentoring others to reach their maximum potential. 

Chancellor’s Citations for Leadership and Service
The Chancellor’s Citations for Leadership and Service are presented to an elite group of graduating seniors (May, August or December) in recognition of their outstanding leadership and commitment to the campus community. Their contributions help enrich the college experience for fellow students and help develop good citizens and stewards for the future.

Derrick Griffith Servant Leader Award
The Derrick Griffith Servant Leader Award was established to honor the memory and legacy of alumnus Derrick Griffith, who was an active student and community leader dedicated to the service and mentorship of others. This award is given to a first generation college student of junior or senior standing who has demonstrated leadership through on or off campus service to others, involvement in student organizations/activities, and a commitment to mentorship. 

Nominations for these honors will be sought beginning in early Spring semester, however applicants are not required to be nominated in order to apply. Letters of recommendation/support are highly encouraged but not required.

Online applications will be open from 8:00am February 12, 2018 to 11:45pm March 18, 2018Late submissions will not be accepted. One application is submitted for these honors and awards, and the Honors & Awards selection committee will determine which award will be given to each award recipient. Information about award recipients will be kept confidential until the awards and citations are presented at the annual Honors and Awards Program on April 30, 2018 at 6pm.

Apply for Honors and Awards