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Commencement 2023

Congratulations, graduates!

Commencement & Nurse Pinning: May 5, 2023

North Central Michigan College celebrated its 2023 graduates with a Nurse Pinning ceremony at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 5, followed by Commencement at 7:30 p.m.  Both ceremonies were held inside Petoskey Plastics Arena in the college's Student and Community Resource Center. 

Degrees Conferred

Select a degree type to see the list of graduates in each area of study.

Commencement Information

President David Roland Finley and members of our faculty will be dressed in their academic regalia. The colors on the hoods represent information about the wearer’s academic background. The type of degree (bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral) is indicated by the width of the velvet edging. The length of the colors of lining denotes the school from which the degree was conferred. The color of the velvet edging denotes the field of learning. 

The following is a list of colors established by the Intercollegiate Code to represent the departments of learning. The Intercollegiate Code of 1895 set the standards for academic dress in the United States. With the exception of revisions in 1932 and 1959, the code has been unchanged since its inception.

Maize - Agriculture Brown - Fine Arts, Including Architecture Pink - Music Salmon Pink - Public Health
White - Arts, Letter, and Humanities Russet - Forestry Apricot - Nursing Gold Yellow - Science
Drab - Business Administration Maroon - Home Economics Silber Gray - Oratory Citron - Social Science
Lilac - Dentistry Crimson - Journalism Olive Green - Pharmacy Theology or Divinity
Copper - Economics Purple - Law Dark Blue - Philosophy Scarlet - Theology or Divinity 
Light Blue - Education Lemon - Library Science Sage Green - Physical Education Gray - Veterinary Science 
Orange - Engineering Green - Medicine Peacock Blue - Public Administration  

The Academic Honor Cord recognizes a student’s academic achievement in an associate degree or certificate program.

Yale — Distinction, GPA 3.50—3.69

Gold — High Distinction, GPA 3.70—3.89

Gold and Yale — Highest Distinction, GPA 3.90—4.00

Red, White and Blue — The Military Honor Cord recognizes veterans and active-duty members and the service they provide to our country.

White — The Student Leadership Honor Cord recognizes Student Senate membership.

Purple — The Ambassador Honor Cord recognizes Student Ambassador membership.

Silver and Peacock — The Student-Athlete Honor Cord recognizes student-athletes who have completed two seasons of eligibility or who have been on the roster for both the Fall and Winter semester of their graduation year.

The Medallion — The Early College Medallion recognizes Early College graduates.

NCMC Ceremonial MaceThe ceremonial mace, a symbol of leadership and authority, is carried by the senior faculty member at all formal college events and is displayed on the platform during these functions. Professor Chet Jessick (pictured) was the mace bearer during the 2023 commencement ceremony.

North Central’s mace was designed by Leon Nash, adjunct art instructor and North Central’s director of campus housing, and manufactured with assistance from staff in the college’s CNC lab.

Measuring 42” long and weighing 7.5 pounds, the mace is constructed of ash and oak trees, both native to Northern Michigan. Ash was selected because it is known as a traditional handle-making wood, and oak lends stability to the head of the mace.

The “X” design on the bottom of the mace is symbolic of four arrows coming together at a single point, representative of students, faculty, staff and community members from different backgrounds converging at a single destination, North Central Michigan College, for a common purpose: to seek and impart knowledge. At the opposite end of the mace is a guiding arrow with a Flame of Knowledge inside, representing the conclusion of one’s journey at North Central and the resulting transfer of knowledge.

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”  —Socrates

The College seal is displayed prominently on one side of the mace head, matching the President’s Medallion, which is worn during formal college events. The remaining three sides are blank at present, the College’s future chapters yet to be written.

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow

History-making U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow will provide the commencement address to the class of 2023.

Born in Gladwin and raised in Clare, Stabenow attended Michigan State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and a master’s in social work. After graduating from MSU, she worked with youth in Michigan’s public schools.

Stabenow was just 24 when she was elected to the Ingham County Board of Commissioners. She went on to serve in the Michigan House of Representatives for 12 years (1979-90), and then the State Senate, where she served for four years (1991-94). Two years later, she was elected to represent Michigan’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2000, Stabenow made history when she became the first woman from Michigan elected to the U.S. Senate. Early this year, she announced that she will not seek re-election and will retire from the Senate when her term ends in January 2025.

Stabenow’s legislative priorities include protecting and preserving the state’s Great Lakes and agricultural land, expanding access to quality health care, and creating jobs for Michiganders. As chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, senior member of the Senate Finance and Budget committees, and member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Stabenow has a significant role in shaping the nation’s health care, manufacturing, infrastructure, environmental and agricultural policies.

“Sen. Stabenow is at the fore of many of the biggest topics affecting Michiganders—issues that also happen to be within North Central’s area of expertise, including health care and workforce development. We are excited to hear her perspective and gain insight into the role our graduates will play in ensuring and advancing Michigan’s bright future.”

—President David Roland Finley

College officials plan to award Senator Debbie Stabenow with an honorary degree to recognize her 24 years of public service as a U.S. senator and four years of service as a congresswoman.

“Sen. Stabenow has made significant contributions in educational service, humanitarian service and servant leadership. Her exemplary career of public service is to be commended."

—President David Roland Finley

In accordance with Board policy ​adopted in 2018, North Central may award award an honorary degree to an individual as the highest form of recognition for extraordinary service to the college or outstanding contributions to the community.  The honorary degree shall be based on the following areas in which individuals may have made significant contributions:

  • Educational Service: Recognizing outstanding service that enhances educational opportunities for the area or that gives personal assistance that leads to the success of individuals in higher education.
  • Humanitarian Service: Recognizing outstanding altruism that enhances the quality of life for others in the area.
  • Servant Leadership: Recognizing outstanding service that goes "the second mile" beyond the servant's paid job description in any area of leadership and that benefits others and/or enhances their leadership capabilities.
  • Arts and Letters: Recognizing outstanding contributions to the arts in any form that enhances the quality of life in the area.
  • Entrepreneurial Leadership: Recognizing outstanding contributions to business/industry through creative startups of new enterprises or through innovative management or business or industry.