It was a major milestone for about 800 Florida A&M students graduating from college and taking a step forward.
"I've gone to so many graduations that being here now is surreal that it’s happening to me now. It's been going through my mind for a while," said journalism major Chanel Leblanc.
There’s no doubt it means a lot to everyone, especially those who are experiencing family history firsthand.
"For persons like myself and many of you this is the first time in your family that one has had an opportunity to celebrate an individual who has graduated from an institution of higher education," said commencement speaker and former New York Congressman Rev. Floyd Flake.
Gregory Clay's family came from far and wide to see him graduate.
"This day means a lot to me because I'm a first generation college graduate."
And Clay isn't stopping there. He plans to attend the University of Kansas for graduate school.
Criminal justice major Shericka Daniels walked across the stage with pride. She also is the first in her family to receive a college diploma.
"It's a great feeling because I'm gonna be the first one out of my family to graduate from college, so I really feel good about this day."
Also feeling good are the thousands of parents beaming with joy.
McClendon adds, "I'm so proud because of the hard work she's put in over the last four years. Also the distance she’s come to meet new people. She's far away from home and for her to continue her studies and to see that she has," said Stanley McClendon, who traveled from Indianapolis to see his daughter walk.
Many are furthering their education; others just ready to step into the real world and land that first job. Either way, hats off to FAMU's newest graduating class.
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