Proud parents and families filled the Paine College HEAL Complex on Sunday as the school held its graduation ceremony.
There was hardly any mention of the shootings that shook the school last week. Instead, speakers and students spoke only of the bright future they see before them.
Paine College President Dr. George C Bradley briefly brought up last week’s events before addressing the crowds.
“I would like to pause and pray for the college community as we deal with an event that happened earlier this week,” he said before holding a moment of silent prayer.
The 132nd Paine College Commencement was not marked by grief — but instead by happiness and excitement as students walked the stage to receive their degrees.
Students said they spent the week gearing up for graduation. — and not thinking about the shootings.
“I’m putting it in the past, trying to just celebrate and focus on what’s going on today,” said graduate Tyshana Gardner.
“Everyone was kind of just a little nervous with what had happened, we were just trying to get past it for the upcoming graduation,” she said. “We were just trying to get past it, we knew it wasn’t going to stop us from what we wanted to do.”
Sheriff Richard Roundtree was also present at the ceremony.
The investigation into last week’s shooting is still ongoing.