CMN holding graduation May 26

Cecil resident picked as student speaker

Northeast Wisconsin students will be receiving academic degrees and technical diplomas from the College of Menominee Nation in ceremonies at 10 a.m. May 26, in the Menominee Casino Resort Convention Center, N277 State Highway 47-55, Keshena.

In recognition of the college’s 25th anniversary, Menominee Tribal Chairman Douglas Cox will serve as guest speaker. As a chartered entity of the Menominee people, the college traces its origins to 1992 when Glen Miller, who was chairman at that time, and vice chairwoman Shirley Daly advanced the idea of a school to serve the reservation community. Dr. Verna Fowler was hired in fall 1992, and CMN opened in January 1993 with 42 students.

With this year’s ceremony, the college will bring its number of alumni to 1,180, with nearly 20 percent of all graduates having earned two or more CMN degrees or diplomas.

Among Class of 2018 graduates with multiple degrees is Sabrina Hemken, who has been chosen as student speaker for the commencement ceremonies. A native of Cecil, she began studies at CMN nearly a decade ago and earned an associate degree in CMN’s microcomputer specialist program in 2000. Hemken returned to the college a few years later and will graduate with both a Bachelor of Arts degree in public administration and an associate degree in digital media.

Hemken has earned academic honors and been awarded numerous scholarships throughout her years at the college. Her curricular and service activities have included work on many American Indian theater productions at the College, being a key volunteer worker on the 2016 and 2017 revivals of the historic Menominee summer pageants, and assisting with the Oneida Nation’s Wisconsin Native American Playwright Festival.

Cox is a lifelong resident of the Menominee reservation and graduate of Menominee Indian High School who continued his education at regional technical colleges before earning his bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He has served the tribe professionally for 27 years in environmental and natural resource management roles, and is on leave from the post of coordinator for the Menominee Environmental Services Department while serving as chairman.

CMN is an accredited baccalaureate-level institution and one of only three Wisconsin institutions holding Land Grant status. Enrollment is open to all on CMN’s main campus in Keshena and its urban campus in the Green Bay metropolitan area. The college sustains a diverse student population. About two-thirds of its alumni are enrolled or descendant members of the Menominee tribe or more than 30 other American Indian tribes.