What is a Valedictorian?

If you’re wondering what is the valedictorian definition, search no further. A Valedictorian is a title, often accompanied by an award and recognition, to high school and college students who give the final, farewell speech upon graduating from an educational institution. Almost always, a Valedictorian achieves the highest cumulative grade point average at their university.

The term “Valedictorian” comes from the Latin phrase, “vale dicere,” which means, “to say farewell.” A Valedictorian address is considered the final farewell it classmates at the education institution, and usually includes words of farewell, nostalgia, thanks, and inspiration. The Valedictorian speech is held at the graduation ceremony.

A school’s valedictorian is almost always based upon the student who has the highest GPA at that education institution. This student is considered to be a representative of the class year they are graduating with. There can be exceptions to this, but the student with the highest GPA is almost always awarded the honorary valedictorian title. The exceptions to this rule are schools where multiple factors and extra-curricular activities are considered, such as speaking ability, extracurricular activities, participation level, and possibly selection from classmates. By and large, it’s wholly or primarily based on grade point average.

In some cases, schools allow two valedictorians, sometimes called “co-valedictorians.” This is usually done as a matter of affirmative action, school tradition, or some other exceptional or unusual reason.

Selecting a valedictorian can be a difficult and controversial decision for the school administration to make. This is because the difference in grade point average among the top students – potential valedictorians – is often minute. Some differ by hundreds of a percentage. Some cases are particularly controversial – when a student’s GPA factors in weighted classes, for example.

Valedictorian addresses, typically called the valediction, is the farewell addressed that is given by the selected Valedictorian and a graduation ceremony. Typically, the graduation speech is inspirational, a persuasive speech, nostalgic, and sometimes even controversial or unconventional. Typically the valedictory is intended to inspire the students of the graduating class to go out and succeed in life, many times revolving around a central or class theme. The speech is also regarded to be the final farewell to the class as they move on to the “real world” and start their life.