Example of a Valedictorian Speech

Looking for an example of a valedictorian speech? You'll find one below. Use it to inspire you to write your own speech. You can add and change the details to personalize it to your own situation.

Example Valedictorian Speech by Graduate

"Valedictorian" derives from the Latin phrase vale dicere, meaning to say farewell. In some nations, the student with the highest grade average of a graduating class accepts the role and delivers the final goodbye speech at the graduation event, the valedictorian address. (Valedictorian. (2018, November 14). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valedictorian)

In an excellent example of a valedictorian speech, the speaker gives thanks to faculty and administrators, celebrates and reflects on experiences with classmates, and inspires graduates to excel in the future. Afterward, the school officials hand out diplomas and send the students on to the next stage of life.

Being your class Valedictorian is a great honor and achievement. Giving a speech that lives up to your prior success is a challenge. Important things to remember about giving a valedictory graduation speech are that:

  • it doesn't have to be lengthy to be memorable
  • it should honor the school and its officials
  • it should connect with your fellow students in an inspiring way.

Start of my example of a valedictorian speech

Principal Stevens, Trustees, Faculty members, family, friends and fellow graduates, today is a day to be thankful and to be inspired.

Body of the valedictorian speech

First, we have much to be thankful for. Here at Peterson School we have received a great education thanks to our fine administration and teachers. We are prepared to move on and to take on whatever challenges come next in our lives.

Fellow graduates, I want you to know what a great gift it is to be as prepared as we are, because not all schools offer such an advantage. Here we have had a high degree of academic excellence and whether you intend to continue your education or not, you will benefit from what you learned here.

We can also be thankful for our families. These past four years have presented us with a lot of ups and downs and it is good to know that we had our families in our corner, supporting us along the way. Thanks Mom and Dad. I would not be here today without you.

Finally, we can be thankful for each other. The friendships that we have made here will last a lifetime. In the same way we have supported each other and helped each other succeed in these years at Peterson, I hope we will continue to provide support and encouragement for each other in future endeavors.

Now, what can we be inspired by today?

Personally, I am inspired by our classmate Alan Rockford who has overcome so much adversity to be here graduating today. Alan, you have been tenacious and have had such a great attitude in the face of so many setbacks. Whenever I get a little down about something that didn't turn out just the way I wanted it to, I remember some of the talks we have had and it gives me the perspective I need. Thank you for that, congratulations, and all the best!

I'm also inspired by Bill Thomas and Tony Marcos who are leaving later this week for Marine boot camp. Billy and Tony, I honor you for making the choice to serve our country and I feel proud to know you. Please take care of yourselves and keep in touch.

Conclusion of the valedictorian speech

Often on graduation day we look outside for heroes but I see them right here among us. I have seen in my years at Peterson that we don't have to look far for inspiration and that we each have the potential to make an inspiring contribution to others, by being true to our values and committing ourselves to lofty goals.

When you leave here today, celebrate what you have accomplished, but look forward with an eye toward how you, too, can be the inspiration for others.

Congratulations Class of 2015!


Listen to this speech


End of the valedictorian speech


Find an additional example of a valedictorian speech here submitted by Leon.

Watch a video example of a valedictorian speech by Paul Stephen. While the video is low-res, Paul's speech is substantial and includes great humor and attention gathering quotes. 

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