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Salutatorian is an academic title given, in the Philippines, United States and Canada, to the second highest graduate of the entire graduating class of an educational institution. This honor is traditionally based on grade point average (GPA) and number of credits taken, but consideration may also be given to other factors such as extracurricular activities. The title comes from the salutatorian's traditional role as the first speaker at a graduation ceremony, delivering the salutation (where the valedictorian, on the other hand, speaks last with his/her valediction).[1] In a high school setting, a salutatorian may also be asked to speak about the current graduating class or to deliver an invocation or benediction. In some instances, the salutatorian may even deliver an introduction for the valedictorian. The general themes of a salutatory are usually of growth, outlook toward the future, and thankfulness, largely the same themes found in a valediction.[2][3]

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Latin salutatorian

At the universities of Princeton and Harvard a "Latin salutatorian" is chosen for his or her ability to write and deliver a speech to the audience in that language; thus, the speaker is typically a Classics major. The tradition dates from the earliest years of the university, when all graduates were expected to have attained proficiency in the "Learned Languages," i.e., Latin and Greek.[4] Of course, this traditional use of Latin for the salutatorian's speech has become problematic as Latin has become the province of the Classics department rather than a required competency for all graduating seniors. At Harvard, an assistant may hold up cue cards instructing the audience to cheer, laugh and groan at the appropriate moments. At Princeton the graduating seniors are provided with a special version of the printed program. The seniors' version differed from the version handed out to the parents in the audience by containing the entire speech printed out in Latin, complete with footnotes (also in Latin) instructing the seniors to "Clap here," "Cheer here," "Boo here," etc. This allowed the festivities to proceed despite the fact that only a small percentage of the seniors had the slightest idea of what it was that they were laughing about, cheering for, or booing at.

Notable salutatorians

See also

References

  1. ^ What is a Salutatorian? http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-salutatorian.htm
  2. ^ Example of a Valedictorian Speech http://www.best-speech-topics.com/example-of-a-valedictorian-speech.html
  3. ^ Salutatorian Speech: 10 Speech Ideas http://www.speech-topics-help.com/salutatorian-speech.html
  4. ^ Charter of the College of New Jersey (1746).
  5. ^ [1] July 14, 2009







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