HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The end marks the beginning. There were caps and gowns galore across Oahu as thousands crossed the stage to turn the tassel and start the next phase of their lives. They hit the books. They passed their finals. Now, it's time for pomp, circumstance, and a lot of fun, especially since it's Friday the 13th.
That's true for more than 2000 former college students, since they are now graduates! Eight campuses held commencement ceremonies Friday night. On Oahu, a seas of friends and family members rose to support the 360 students who crossed the stage at Kapiolani Community College. Among the graduates was valedictorian Heather Young. She said, "I think that the fact that I really put my mind towards this goal and I actually achieved it was the most surmounting thing for me. I just think that this is a moment that I want to share with my family since they've helped me so much through this and I really couldn't have done it without them. "
The Student Engagement Coordinator at KCC, Keith Kashiwaa, helped plan graduation. He coordinated with 50 volunteers to pull it off, "I'm just grateful that they can have this experience where they get an opportunity to sit in front of their family and share with them how proud they are of their accomplishments. For many of them, this is just the beginning."
Young plans to head to the University of Hawaii Manoa in the fall. That means more years of study, long nights at the library, and endless papers and tests. It's a challenge she's looking forward to.
And speaking of U.H. Manoa, Saturday marks the University's 100th undergraduate commencement ceremony. That starts at 9:00 a.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center. The post baccalaureate degree ceremony begins at 3:00 p.m.