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Nicolet College - Record number of students expected to graduate from Nicolet; ceremonies May 15, 16

Record number expected to graduate from Nicolet; Justice Bradley, Sen. Holperin to address graduates May 15, 16


A record number of students are expected to graduate from Nicolet College this spring with many of these students participating in commencement ceremonies May 15 and 16 on the Rhinelander campus.

In all, at least 718 students are expected to have completed a course of study at Nicolet during the 2009-10 academic year. Of these, 548 are slated to receive a Nicolet College associate degree, diploma or certificate. Another 170 are expected to receive a GED or HSED through the college’s Academic Success Program.

College officials are attributing much of the record number to an increase in the number of unemployed workers enrolling at Nicolet to upgrade their job skills.

“We feel honored that so many area residents have turned to Nicolet to help them get their professional lives back on track,” said Nicolet College President Elizabeth Burmaster. “The economic recession has left many people unemployed. It’s our job at Nicolet to offer the training necessary to get these people back into the workforce, which will also aid in the overall economic recovery.”

The previous graduation record was set in 2005 when 645 people completed an academic program at the college. Many of these graduates were laid off from the Triumph Twist Drill plant in Rhinelander, which closed in the summer of 2002, putting about 700 people out of work.

Graduation ceremonies for the college’s associate degree, diploma and certificate students are scheduled for 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., Saturday, May 15, in the Nicolet College Theatre. A ceremony for students graduating from Nicolet’s Academic Success Program will be held at 11 a.m., Sunday, May 16, also in the Nicolet College Theatre.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley will give the commencement address at ceremonies Saturday, May 15. First elected to the state Supreme Court in 1995, Bradley has held several leadership positions in state and federal legal organizations. She’s also a recipient of the American Judicature Society’s Harley Award, a national honor that is reserved for judges who have made substantial improvements to the justice system. Before joining the Supreme Court, she served for 10 years as a circuit court judge in Marathon County.

Sen. Holperin will be the guest speaker at the Academic Success ceremony Sunday, May 16. He was elected to the Wisconsin Senate in 2005, serving the 12th district in northern Wisconsin. Prior to that he served as secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism from 2003 to 2007, and as a Wisconsin state representative from 1982 to 1992.


- posted Tuesday, May 4, 2010