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Encyclopedia > Valedictorian

In the United States and Canada, the title of valedictorian (an anglicized derivation from the Latin vale dicere, "to say farewell") is given to the top graduate of the graduating class (the Australia/New Zealand equivalent being dux, although some Australian universities use the American term) of an educational institution. The title comes from the valedictorian's traditional role as the last speaker at the graduation ceremony. This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... There are several meanings of derivation: A derivation in abstract algebra is a linear map that satisfies Leibniz law. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... Look up Alumnus in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Misspeling of Ducks ... Academic procession during the University of Canterbury graduation ceremony. ...

The title is generally awarded based on the calculated total credits of grades (overall GPA), a senior vote, the amount of dedication to certain extracurricular activities, the academic weight of classes taken, or SAT/ACT scores. In other schools the position may be elected by the school body, or appointed directly by the school administration based on a more complex system of merit (rather than grades alone). Some schools may likewise feature "co-valedictorians." This may be done in the case of a tie, as part of a Latin honors system, or to promote some form of affirmative action such as gender or racial balance. In the United States, grading is done with several different systems. ... Extracurricular activities are activities performed by students that fall outside the realm of the normal curriculum of school or university education. ... The SAT is a standardized test for college admissions in the United States. ... The ACT, formerly the ACT Assessment, is a college-entrance achievement test produced by ACT, Inc. ... // Latin honors are Latin phrases used to indicate the level of academic distinction with which an academic degree was earned. ... Affirmative action is a policy or a program of taking positive steps [1] to increase the representation of certain designated groups allegedly seeking to redress discrimination or bias through active measures, as in education and employment. ...

The graduation speech is a closing or farewell statement, address or oration delivered at a graduation ceremony. It is an oration or address spoken at commencement in American high schools, colleges or seminaries by one of the graduating class. The mode of discourse is generally inspirational and persuasive. The many aims of this address is to thank, to inspire, to affect, and above all to say farewell to high school, college, or the seminary. One valedictorian from history, Maximilien Robespierre, gave his speech to King Louis XVI.

See also

  • Grade inflation
  • Salutatorian: The second highest rank
  • Blair Hornstine: A high school student who successfully sued her school district to be named as sole valedictorian of the class, rather than having to share the title with a student whose GPA was slightly lower

Grade inflation is an issue in U.S. education and in GCSEs in England and Wales. ... In the United States and Canada, the title of salutatorian is given to the second-highest graduate of the entire graduating class of an educational institution. ... Blair Hornstine is a woman from Moorestown Township, New Jersey, who achieved notoriety in 2003 by suing Moorestown High School in an effort to name her as its sole valedictorian. ...


  • Margaret Talbot (June 6, 2005). Best in Class: Students are suing their way to the top. The New Yorker. Archived from New Yorker the original on 2007-03-01.
  • Patricia Breakey (June 25, 2005). From Valedictorian... to the real world. The Daily Star.

  Results from FactBites:
Definition of valedictorian - Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (46 words)
Learn more about "valedictorian" and related topics at Britannica.com
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See a map of "valedictorian" in the Visual Thesaurus
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