Doctoral ceremony speaker nominations

Nominations for Doctoral Ceremony guest speakers

MIT faculty are invited to submit nominations for guest speakers at future ceremonies for the Investiture of Doctoral Hoods and Degree Conferral*. The guest speaker at the Doctoral Ceremony is one who inspires the degree candidates and demonstrates a professional path in the chosen realm, whether academe, public service, non-profit, or the private sector. Criteria:

  • Nominees must hold an MIT PhD or ScD.
  • Nominees should have the ability to inspire while allaying the fears of our Doctoral candidates, show a professional path, and demonstrate success in making career decisions.

Submissions are accepted year-round and will be considered in the next session of review following their receipt (the deadline for the 2019 ceremony has passed). There is no limit to the number of names you may submit for consideration. Although we ask that you please nominate one person per form submission, you may submit this form multiple times to recommend multiple people. It is not necessary to write a formal letter of nomination, but we welcome any background you are able to provide via this form.

Nominees are considered by Chancellor Barnhart, host of the ceremony; Chancellor Grimson, chair of the Commencement Committee; and an annually convened working group of Doctoral student representatives from all five Schools. Questions? Documents to email? Contact us

*It is possible that there will be further changes to the graduation festivities that in turn, prompt changes to the Doctoral Ceremony speaker nomination criteria or process. In the meantime, nominations continue to be accepted for future consideration.


Candis Callison at MIT Hooding 2018

2018: Candis Callison SM ’02 PhD ’10, Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of British Columbia Vancouver

Dr. Lisa Su at the 2017 MIT Hooding Ceremony

2017: Lisa Su ’90 SM ’91 PhD ’94, president and CEO of Advanced Micro Devices

2016: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala MCP ’78 PhD ’81, senior advisor at Lazard and minister of finance and coordinating minister for the economy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2011–2015)

Many faculty have dual appointments; please indicate the primary DLC with which you are affiliated
For example, "Professor and department head" or "William Barton Rogers Professor of Institute Foundation"
Please tell us the name and current title/role/professional status of the nominee
For example, nominees may be graduates of your department, former advisees, alumni with whom you collaborated once they were in the professional sphere, etc.
For ex, the dissertation supervisor/committee members, a former mentor, or a good friend of the nominee who is an MIT faculty member
Links to professional profile, nominee in the news, journal articles, etc. If you are in touch with the nominee and are able to provide direct contact information for the individual or office, that detail is welcome.