Family, friends gather to celebrate BRHS class of 2015

COMMENCEMENT: Michael Carroll and his fellow graduating classmates listen to multiple speakers at the 2015 Big Rapids High School commencement. (Pioneer photo/Katlyn Vuillemot)

COMMENCEMENT: Michael Carroll and his fellow graduating classmates listen to multiple speakers at the 2015 Big Rapids High School commencement. (Pioneer photo/Katlyn Vuillemot)

BIG RAPIDS — As the 2015 graduates proudly walked into the gym full of family and friends, most knew this would be the last time they would set foot in Big Rapids High School building as students.

On Sunday, 126 graduates sat in the BRHS gym anxiously awaiting their diplomas.

Graduates, educators and attendees listened attentively to the commencement speaker, Brian Guiney, a former BRHS teacher and coach.

“If someone were new to America and wanted to know the most important rite of passage in our country, I would tell them without hesitation it’s high school graduation,” Guiney said. “This is the class of 2015. You stand at a level of freedom you have never experienced before.”

Guiney explained to the class of 2015 what life was like in Big Rapids during the year 1997 when most of the graduates were just born, compared to how life is today.

DIPLOMA: Kazia Emily-Carol Cooper is handed her diploma by Big Rapids Public Schools Board of Education member Dan Tuuri. (Pioneer photo/Katlyn Vuillemot)

DIPLOMA: Kazia Emily-Carol Cooper is handed her diploma by Big Rapids Public Schools Board of Education member Dan Tuuri. (Pioneer photo/Katlyn Vuillemot)

“In 1997, Big Rapids was a very different town than we know today,” he said. “A gallon of gas cost about $1, the only sit-down restaurant on Perry Street was called Woody’s in the Holiday Inn and the old downtown high school would graduate one final class before the opening of this impressive new building.”

Following the speaker, the class of 2015 was presented by the BRHS principal Ron Pincumbe, and one by one, students received their diplomas.

“It is clear to see that the world that awaits you is drastically different than the one you were born into in 1997,” Guiney said. “Congratulations class of 2015, you are done.”

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Posted by Katlyn Vuillemot

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