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Commencement 2024

Congratulations, graduates!

Commencement & Nurse Pinning: May 3, 2024

North Central Michigan College celebrated its 2024 graduates with a Nurse Pinning ceremony at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 3, 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. The events were livestreamed for those unable to attend.

Commencement & Nurse Pinning Photos

Degrees Conferred

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

Commencement & Nursing Pinning Information

Lily Wilcox, BSN, RNLily Wilcox, BSN, RN, who graduated from North Central’s nursing program in 2019, will deliver the keynote address to the 2024 nursing graduates. Wilcox’s professional experience spans various settings, from medical-surgical care to her leadership role as a charge nurse in Emergency Medicine at McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital.

Now a travel nurse serving Northern Michigan, Wilcox continues to exemplify excellence in emergency medicine. She also uses her experience to shape the next generation of nurses, serving as a clinical instructor and tutor for NCMC’s nursing program.

Monica Peck

Monica Peck, librarian and community leader, will provide the commencement address to the class of 2024.

Peck, who graduated from North Central in 2009, is director of the Boyne District Library. In 2022, Peck was named the Public Librarian of the Year by the Michigan Library Association. Four years prior, in 2018, she was named a Rising Star by Wayne State University, where she earned her Master of Library Science degree.

Peck serves as a trustee on the Charlevoix County Community Foundation Board and the Leadership Charlevoix County Board. She also serves on the Boyne City Chamber of Commerce Board and the Otsego County Library Board. She and her husband, Jordan, live in Gaylord and share a blended family with seven children.

“I’m honored to return to NCMC to give the commencement address,” Peck said. “It’s humbling to think I could contribute to an institution that has given me so much. When I attended my commencement in 2009, I remember the excitement that I felt, and I’m thrilled to share that with the class of 2024.”

Pier and Renee BorraDuring the ceremony, college officials will award honorary degrees of Community and Educational Service to Pier and Renee Borra in recognition of their contributions to the healthcare field and to the college.

Donors to North Central since 2009, the Borras have supported many funding priorities, including the Healthy Investment and Building Tomorrow Together capital campaigns. The Borras have also supported student success initiatives, technology, and scholarships, including the Borra Nursing Pathway Scholarship. Thanks to their generosity, in 2023, McLaren Northern Michigan opened the Justin A. Borra Behavioral Health Center in Cheboygan to provide mental and behavioral health resources to those in need.

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.

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.

Free Speech Circle

The College recently established the Free Speech Circle. It is located in the center of the Harris Sculpture Garden. Free speech activities are welcomed at this site, which comprises the white concrete circle and is marked with a sign.