Meet the fall 2023 CLAS commencement speaker

David Roth

David Roth will deliver the commencement address to his graduating class during this December’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences commencement ceremony

By Izabela Zaluska 

Graduating student David Roth (BS 2023 Actuarial Science and BA Mathematics, both with highest distinction) found opportunities to push himself academically and experienced personal growth while at the University of Iowa. 

Roth, who is from Peosta, Iowa, said the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences allowed him to challenge and push himself in his classes, and also granted him enough flexibility to study abroad in Germany and Japan. 

Roth, who will receive a Bachelor of Science in actuarial science and a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics, is among the more than 600 CLAS students graduating this fall and will deliver the student address. The ceremony will be held at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 9 a.m. 

His remarks will focus on “being the architect of your own joy” and “shaping the environment around you.” Roth said these lessons come from personal experience when he was in high school working at a Casey’s convenience store. 

“When I worked at Casey's originally, and throughout my whole time in high school, I was very taciturn, socially anxious, and never really liked to put myself out there,” Roth said. “I was at a fork in the road where I could either try to find a different job or stick it out.”  

Roth decided to stick it out. 

“It was difficult, but it clearly worked,” Roth said, adding how he is gearing up to speak in front of hundreds of his peers. 

Roth had always been drawn to mathematics and quantitative reasoning, and he decided to study at Iowa because of the university’s esteemed reputation in actuarial science and mathematics. 

While at Iowa, Roth worked at the Mathematics Tutorial Lab, helped found the Actuarial Tutorial Lab, and helped teach in the Junior Math Scholars program. He is also in the data science undergraduate to graduate (U2G) program

“All these involved chatting with folks and explaining things, which ties back to my personal growth in those areas,” Roth said, adding how he enjoyed teaching and connecting with others.  

David Roth

Roth was also involved in Honors Outreach Ambassadors to help inform prospective students about the program and getting involved, which he said further strengthened his public speaking experience.  

As for his plans after graduation, Roth says he is keeping an open mind. He’ll start with completing the rest of his actuarial exams, as well as a master’s degree in data science at Iowa. He also has an internship lined up for the summer at Allianz in Minneapolis.

“And then just see where life takes me,” he added. 

For more information about the ceremony, visit the commencement website. You can watch the ceremony, including Roth’s address, live on YouTube.


The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers about 70 majors across the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. About 15,000 undergraduate and nearly 2,000 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by faculty at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all Iowa undergraduates through the college's general education program, CLAS CORE. About 80 percent of all Iowa undergraduates begin their academic journey in CLAS. The college confers about 60 percent of the university's bachelor's degrees each academic year.