The stage was set. Fifty-eight white chairs sat on the wooden stage while the auditorium filled up.
Faculty dressed in caps and gowns stood on one side of the hallway, talking and laughing. People stood at the entrances handing out program guides.
On the other side of the hallway, students stood in caps and gowns, waiting for their cue to walk through the doors.
Friends, family, faculty and students gathered at East Tennessee State University’s Martha J. Culp center for University High’s graduation.
While Friday’s ceremony brought about the end of the 2012 school year, some of the students already had their plans for after graduation already laid out.
“I am going to be attending ETSU after I graduate,” Samantha Wessner said. “I am undecided about what I’m going to major in.”
University High graduated 59 on Friday night. There were many special readings and special music played throughout the evening.
Students also heard a speech from valedictorian Katherine Benson. They also saw a thank you video present by Larysa Cohee, Allison Keys and Joshua Smith.
For some students, graduation was bittersweet as highlighted by the song “Bittersweet Symphony,” made famous by the band Bush.
Students will not forget what they learned while attending University High, nor the people they met. Some of those people could be with them for the rest of their lives.
“I made some really close friends while I was here,” Cohee said. “I really enjoyed that.”
Cohee plans to attend Austin-Peay State University in Clarksville after graduation.
Students walked out to the recessional of “Hakuna Matata” from the movie “Lion King.”