LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) - Students across the state took their rite of passage today. At the University of Kansas, graduates did that with the traditional walk down the hill.
To many of them, it seems just like yesterday when their class of freshly minted graduates were just freshmen.
"Freshman year went by really quick. It felt like I was just moving in the dorms as a freshman and graduation is here already," said graduate Matt Talley.
Through trials and tribulations, they have endured finals and found enduring friendships.
"I'm a first-generation graduate," said Amanda Muhammad. "It's an awesome feeling, a huge accomplishment. It's such a blessing," she said, while sharing a hug with her friend and fellow graduate, Erica Collins."
Some graduates thought they would never see this day. But today they say they feel equipped to take the next steps.
"I'm surprised I even graduated high school, so this is a really big deal for me. I'm just excited to get a job and head over to Japan to teach English," Jaymes Jarmen shared.
"I'm going to be a boss," Collins said.
Commencement speaker and CEO of Ford Motor Co. Alan Mulally had some advice for those who want to be successful.
The first thing, he said, "I tell them to get a degree from the University of Kansas."
For the class of 2012, that's a mission accomplished.
Mullany is a jayhawk himself. In addition to his KU bachelor and master's degrees, he was conferred an honorary doctor of science.