UWSP student makes history as youngest graduate in over 40 years

Madison Ackley, 18, is set to be the youngest woman to graduate at UW-Stevens Point's history. (Source: WSAW)
Published: May. 8, 2023 at 10:09 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - It’s history in the making at UWSP. Most 18-year-olds are getting ready to go to college, but it’s not every day that someone who’s only 18 years old is graduating from college.

You could say 18-year-old Madison Ackley from Crandon has always been ahead of her time.

“When I was in high school I took many college courses and I had my mother help me map out the courses I needed to take to fulfill all of the requirements needed”, said Ackley. “I also took 18 to 21 credits per semester up until this point to get here.”

Ackley will be the youngest Native American and woman to ever graduate from UW-Stevens Point.

“It’s exciting to be able to be a part of the campuses history,” she said.

At an age when most people are attending their senior prom, she’s applying for her first full-time job as a college graduate.

“I love numbers and I always have. My aunt is an accountant and I really look up to her. I want to be like her,” Ackley said.

Somehow, between all of her studying, she has found time to work and be involved with the Native American Center. She also runs her own business as a microblading artist.

Ackley didn’t plan to complete her degree in just two years either. The inspiration became a reality about a year ago when she saw other seniors talking about graduation, and she decided to set goals right then and there.

“During my time at Stevens Point, I’ve been involved in Kai Alpha which is a Christian organization on campus and also participated in Toastmasters which is a professional speaking club,” said Ackley.

She will walk the stage for graduation on May 20.

When asked what it will be like knowing she’s making history, Ackley said, “It’s pretty cool it’s very exciting I’ve been looking forward to it for a while now I’m excited graduation is so close.”