April 12, 2024

Hannah Nicolaisen to serve as Commencement speaker

Hannah singing with a guitar

A talented musician and a two-time All-American member of the Cowley College volleyball team, Hannah Nicolaisen will serve as this year’s Commencement Speaker at Cowley College. Commencement will be held Saturday, May 4, inside W.S. Scott Auditorium. 

A native of Houston, Texas, Nicolaisen chose to come to Cowley because of the solid athletics and the clear display of love from the community.

She ranked second in Cowley's volleyball history in kills in a season and a career after her two seasons. She helped the Lady Tiger volleyball team to a fifth-place national finish in 2017 and a record of 33-7 as a sophomore.

“The relationships I made and lessons I learned made my time at Cowley life-changing,” Nicolaisen said. “I consider those two years as some of the most impactful of my life.” 

She went on to play volleyball and study exercise science at the University of Illinois Springfield, graduating in 2022. 

Following graduation, she moved to Montgomery, AL, where she initially auditioned for American Idol and was honored to make it to the Top 20 finalists in Season 21. Since appearing on the show, she has moved to Nashville with her now fiancée and continues to pursue music as a career.

She recently returned to the Arkansas City campus as part of a Volleyball Alumni Day event and is anxious to be back for Commencement. “I am so excited to be the Commencement speaker for the graduation ceremony,” Nicolaisen said. “This is a bucket list dream for me, and I am so grateful for the opportunity.”

Cowley President Dr. Michelle Schoon shared, “Hannah is a good example of what can be achieved through vision, hard work and dedication. I know that her message will resonate with the students as they pursue their future goals”.

Rama Peroo | Director of Institutional Communication
Cowley College
125 S. 2nd Street
Arkansas City, KS 67005