The Daily Iowan.
December 18, 1998
Speaker's 'No Shame' to come in handy
Aprille Clarke, the liberal arts commencement speaker, is a thespian and a Spanish major.
By Erika Slife
Aprille Clarke will bear "No Shame" Saturday as the commencement speaker for the liberal arts graduating class of 1998.
A frequent actress in No Shame Theatre, the 21-year old Ames native is used to performing in front of a large crowd of people.
"When I found out, I was really excited," she said. "I was dancing around."
Her speech will be focus on the benefits of attending a large university while still experiencing the intimacy of a small school, she said, adding that she will also talk about student experiences at the UI.
"I will talk about how we've learned -- or should have learned -- to be independent and responsible decision makers," Clarke said. "We will take this into our adult lives."
In her three and a half years at the UI, Clarke said, she has been involved in so many activities that she can't remember them all.
Besides her involvement in theater, which includes the Playwrights' Festival and the Undergrad 10-minute Festival, Clarke tutors at New Dimensions in Learning, a service for students with learning disabilities, provided under the auspices of Special Services.
Even with all her activities, Clarke said, she has managed to maintain close to a 3.9 grade-point average.
A Spanish major, Clarke spent last summer studying in San Sebastian, Spain; she is not sure how she will use her degree after graduation.
"I am going to grad school here," she said. "I'm in a program called Foreign Language Education, but I'm not sure if I'm going to stick with it."
Clarke competed with four finalists to be the commencement speaker, said Peter Hubbard, head of the selection committee.
The selection process for finalists included an application, interview and prospective speech excerpt. Students applying for the honor were required to be graduating with high distinction, he said.
"All students we interviewed were outstanding," Hubbard said. "But we liked what Aprille was planning to say."
Clarke's theater background may have helped her to win the award.
"Aprille had a unique spin on her speech," committee member Susan Bridenstine said. "She is very comical and has a great speaking presence. Her humor will intrigue the audience."
Clarke decided to keep her award a secret from her parents, who will be attending the ceremony along with family members and friends.
"I have sworn my friends to secrecy not to tell my parents," she said.
The liberal arts commencement is scheduled to be held in Carver-Hawkeye Arena Saturday at 10 a.m.
DI reporter Erika Slife can be reached at:
Title: Speaker's 'No Shame' to come in handy
Today's Paper: [ Front | Metro & Iowa | Nation & World | Viewpoints | Sports | Arts ]