Etymology
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salutatorian (n.)

1841, American English, from salutatory "of the nature of a salutation," here in the specific sense "designating the welcoming address given at a college commencement" (1702) + -ian. The address was originally usually in Latin and given by the second-ranking graduating student.

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Definitions of salutatorian

salutatorian (n.)
a graduating student with the second highest academic rank; may deliver the opening address at graduation exercises;
Synonyms: salutatory speaker
From wordnet.princeton.edu