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Sophomore Welcome

Convocation 2018 will feature a sophomore student speaker who will bestow words of wisdom and share advice of their first year at WSU to the newest members of the Cougar Family.  The Welcome should be a reflection of the speaker’s first-year experience and share lessons learned while providing inspiration and direction for first-year students.


The Sophomore Welcome will be five minutes in length (500-600 words). Interested students who are on path to be sophomores in good academic standing during the Fall 2018 semester may submit a written abstract of their speech. Submitted scripts will be evaluated and finalists will be identified and invited to present a full version of their welcome to a committee of faculty, staff and student representatives who will identify the final speaker. Once selected, the Sophomore Welcome speaker will be required to meet in person with the Convocation staff for final review prior to the ceremony.

Sophomore Welcome Timeline

February 23 Application open
March 26 Application closes
April 2 Finalists notified
Mid April Finalists present full speech to Committee
Mid April Chosen Sophomore Welcome speaker is notified
Mid April - May 4 Chosen speaker meets with Convocation staff and Communication Faculty
June 1 Final speech due
Early August Speaker practices with Convocation staff and Communication Faculty
Aug 16 Convocation Dress Rehearsal at 3 p.m.
Aug 17 Convocation at 10 a.m.


Previous Sophomore Speaker Excerpts

Alexander Kaprosy, 2017:

"Humans have this tendency to live for the future, to get lost in the day to day tasks, and to close their eyes until the weekend comes. Please don’t be this way. To give you an idea of how my year has gone so far: I became the president of my hall, joined a fraternity that I can be proud of, and spent the last semester as an RA. I’ve definitely kept myself busy, but more importantly I’ve loved every second of it. Now I am not telling you all that you have to be in hall government, ResLife, or be Greek to enjoy your time here but I do have one expectation: Go beyond your job description as a student. Do more than just getting a degree and leaving.  The world can cram a decade’s worth of beauty into a single second, but you’ll miss those moments if you’re more concerned with where you are in five years than where you’re at now."

Garrett Snedeker, 2016:

"I still have a lot to learn at WSU. I’ve felt the discomfort, and the attempts to avoid it by staying well within my comfort zone. I hope you will tackle discomfort this year, and are not afraid of the outcome. You have the opportunity to immerse yourself in new things this year by making friends with people unlike yourself and allowing a new self to emerge. I hope you have a fantastic year of discomfort and change. By next year, I hope you’ll be a newer version of you that you hadn’t even imagined. "

Applicant Information

  • Applicant must be on track to achieve sophomore standing by Fall 2018 (first year students who may have a higher academic standing due to Running Start or AP/IB tests are welcome to apply)
  • Applicant must be in good academic standing
  • Speeches should be no more than 5 minutes (500-600 words)
  • A draft (500-600 words) of welcome must be submitted with application by March 26th
  • To submit your application:

Questions may be directed to Sara VanSteenbergen at or (509) 335-7182.