Is the Class Day Speaker Paid? Spokesman Says That’s Confidential

“The speaker agreement is confidential.”

By Pete Grieve, Editor-in-Chief ('18–'19)

The University of Chicago will not officially say if it has a monetary agreement with its Class Day speaker. 

Unlike many schools, the University has not invited distinguished speakers to address its graduating students in recent years. 

Class Day is a new event this year scheduled the day before Convocation. It will feature New York Times columnist David Brooks (A.B. '83) as an invited speaker.

A University spokesperson said over e-mail that “the speaker agreement is confidential.” The statement did not say if it is a financial agreement.

A 2016 Associated Press survey found that while some colleges pay five- or six-digit speaker fees, many schools do not pay graduation speakers at all. Seven of 10 surveyed private institutions said that they do not pay graduation speakers.