Graduation featured students at the podium who reminisced about their time at Liberty and the solid education they received that will propel them into their bright future.
“This place changed my life forever,” said senior Cole Croce. “It gave me a Christ-centered, Spirit-filled foundation that led me to the Lord through God’s love and grace at Liberty.”
This graduating class will attend colleges in the fall including New York University, Duke University, Liberty University, and Rhodes College, as well as Baylor, Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M, The University of Texas, University of Oklahoma, and many others.
The Class of 2018 honored Emery Fitzhugh who was seated on the front row with her parents, Mike and Michelle. She was a part of this class at Liberty until she was unable to continue due to Fredreich’s ataxia. The entire audience gave Emery a standing ovation.
Later, senior Sophie Steffey addressed the class and encouraged them to remember how blessed they are even in the daily routine of life.
“Never forget your worth,” she said. “God is so good, and He has paved a path for us.”
Seniors then took a moment to walk over to their families and present them with letters of thanks and appreciation, along with greetings and hugs.
President Blair McCullough also spoke to the graduating class, giving them practical advice for college and the years ahead.
“You have everything you need,” he said. “Enjoy the journey, and know that you always have a home here at Liberty.”
At the ceremony, students received a book that included a personal note to each senior from a teacher. One teacher wrote to a student, “It is important to remember that your future remains not merely in God’s hands but also in His heart. He cares deeply for you and has a plan for you – a plan filled with hope.”
The teacher went on to say, “Each challenge will be an opportunity to learn more about Him, to trust Him more deeply, and to follow Him more earnestly. College will be an incredible experience in which you will stretch your intellectual and spiritual wings, where you will develop relationships that last a lifetime, and where you will see that God never leaves or forsakes you.”
Salutatorian Kalli Psaromatis recounted special times at Liberty, when the Class of 2018 had the largest group of freshmen attend the overseas Spring Break mission trip when they were in 9th grade, and her kindergarten teacher who was there for her when she had surgery as a high school student.
Valedictorian Matthew Reneau then addressed the audience and said, “Embrace change, be bold, be brave, be confident, and trust in God’s plan.”
Members of several Liberty choirs then performed “Be Enthroned” from the stage, singing, “Be enthroned upon the praises of a thousand generations; You are worthy, Lord of all; Unto the slain and risen King, we lift our voice with Heaven singing worthy, Lord of all.”
Principal Heather Lytle, Vice Principal Tim Sanchez, and Director of Fine Arts Misty Baptiste presented additional scholarships before the annual Rose Cutting Ceremony. Dr. McCullough concluded graduation with prayer, as he congratulated seniors and encouraged them as they embark on a new chapter in their lives.