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Salutatorian is an academic title given, in the Philippinesmarker, United Statesmarker and Canadamarker, to the second highest graduate of the entire graduating class of an educational institution. This honor is traditionally based on grades along with grade point average (GPA), but consideration is also sometimes often 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 salutatory (where the valedictorian, on the other hand, speaks last with his/her valedictory). 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 always of growth, outlook toward the future, and thankfulness, usually the same things in a valedictory.

Latin salutatorian at Princeton University

Princeton Universitymarker chooses a "Latin salutatorian" based on the 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. Of course, this traditional use of Latin for the salutatorian's speech at Princeton has become problematic as Latin has become the province of the Classics department rather than a required competency for all graduating seniors. In the late 1980s this problem was addressed by providing the graduating seniors with their own version of the 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


  1. What is a Salutatorian?
  2. Example of a Valedictorian Speech
  3. Salutatorian Speech: 10 Speech Ideas
  4. Charter of the College of New Jersey (1746).
  5. [1] July 14, 2009

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