May 21, 2006
Tonight Piedmont Virginia Community College said goodbye to this year's graduating class. One by one, graduates marched in to celebrate the end of one journey and the beginning of another.
"It feels incredible. I mean you can see it on everyone's faces. It's an incredible feeling," said Alison Twiss.
"It's been two years, a great two years. It's the culmination of a lot of hard work," said David Hertog.
The 177th trip down Thomas Jefferson's hallowed grounds was enjoyed by nearly 3,500 Undergrads and 2,500 Masters and Doctoral degree recipients. For many of the graduate students, the second walk was well worth the work.
"This is amazing. This whole experience on the lawn and all of it," said Caroline Rosenberg.
"This is actually my second trip down the lawn and it's even better than the first one," Twiss said.
Governor Tim Kaine gave the keynote address, telling each graduate to explore their sense of adventure.
"Embrace people you don't know. Accept challenges you don't fully comprehend. Live out stories whose last chapters haven't yet been written," said Kaine.
While the new graduates have different plans.
"I'm very excited to start my new life in Boston," said Hana Hassan.
"I plan to go on to Med school. I'm taking this year off, I actually did it in three years. I'm ready to go out and enjoy a year off," said Claire Olson.
They all say they are looking forward to the future, while fondly remembering the past.
"I won't leave UVA behind but I will take a lot of memories with me," Hassan said.
The graduates received their diplomas after the Final Exercises in ceremonies with each individual school.