Nicolet College celebrates 200-plus graduates at 2024 commencement ceremony

For the Tomahawk Leader

RHINELANDER – Nicolet College celebrated more than 200 students invited to participate in the 2024 Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, April 20.             

“Earning a college credential is a valuable accomplishment and one that each graduate will proudly carry with them for the rest of their lives,” said Nicolet College President Kate Ferrel. “This is a great day. We are not only celebrating the academic accomplishments of our graduates, but also their resilience, determination and commitment to excellence. The Nicolet College Class of 2024 will make a positive impact in our community.”

Student graduation speaker Kayla Fraley graduated with an Associate of Science degree. Fraley shared her first experience attending Nicolet College immediately following her high school graduation ten years ago, before being diagnosed with leukemia.

“After almost a year of rigorous chemo and isolation, I was finally told I had made it into a partial remission,” Fraley said.

Only a few months later, Fraley’s leukemia returned, and so did her rigorous treatments. She was determined to put “one foot in front of the other,” as the saying goes.

“This quote drove me to come back to Nicolet College because life still had so much more to offer me as far as education,” Fraley stated. “I knew that Nicolet College was the perfect place to start again, but this time as a non-traditional student.”

She enrolled again last year, and last week, she earned her associate degree.

Fraley thanked Nicolet College faculty and staff for their motivation, support and dedication upon her return to campus last year.

Fraley is now enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. She plans to earn a degree in engineering, thanks to the transfer agreement between Nicolet College and Platteville, which allows her to continue living in the Northwoods while pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

Kayla Fraley, student speaker at the 2024 Nicolet College Commencement Ceremony, delivered an inspiring address to her fellow graduates, reflecting on the significance of this milestone. Photo courtesy of Nicolet College.

210 students were certified to graduate from Nicolet College on April 20, earning associate degrees, technical certificates and diplomas.

Registration is now open for this year’s summer and fall terms. To learn more about enrolling and financial aid, visit Nicolet College in-person, online at, or call 715-365-4493, 1-800-544-3039, ext. 4493; TTY 1-800-947-3529 or 711 relay. 

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