More than 200 members of Marietta High School's Class of 2014 faculty, friends and family members packed the Dyson Baudo Recreation Center at Marietta College Sunday for the high school's 162nd commencement.
"Today we're done with high school, but that doesn't mean we should relax. This is not the end, but a beginning. Everything we've done has prepared us for this moment," class salutatorian Brennan Uhrig said during his commencement address.
He encouraged fellow graduates to continue working hard for success even after they received their diplomas.
SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times
Marietta High School graduate Alyssa Freeman, left, poses with sister Sierra Freeman following the 2014 MHS graduation exercises at Marietta College’s Dyson Baudo Recreation Center Sunday.
"We're now standing on the brink of the rest of our lives, but we couldn't have done this without the support of our parents, teachers and the surrounding community," added class valedictorian Hailey Bennett.
"And there are great things ahead of us if we're only willing to work for them," she said.
In his remarks to the graduating class, Principal Bill Lee shared some words of wisdom from a riddle he had read:
At a glance
Marietta High Class of 2014:
Class motto: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."
Class colors: Purple and silver.
Class flower: Tiger lily.
Valedictorian: Hailey Bennett.
Salutatorian: Brennan Uhrig.
"I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
"I am completely at your command. Half of the things you do you might as well turn over to me and I will do them-quickly and correctly.
"I am easily managed - you must be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically. I am the servant of great people, and alas, of all failures as well.
"Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures.
"I am not a machine though I work with the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a person. You may run me for profit or run me for ruin-it makes no difference to me.
"Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet. Be easy with me and I will destroy you.
"Who am I? I am Habit."
Lee then advised the grads that wherever they go and whatever they choose to do, three habits would serve them well.
"You have to show up, get the work done, and follow through," he said.
Class of 2014 member Rachel Bober had mixed feelings about graduation day.
"It's sad, but I'm also happy to be moving on," she said.
Bober is planning to attend West Virginia University in Morgantown this fall, majoring in design studies and event planning.
Anthony Brandt, from Hamburg, Germany, is among several exchange students who participated in MHS graduation ceremonies this year.
"I've been here since January, and it's pretty cool," he said. "My mom's coming here June 2, then we're going to visit New York and Florida."
After that Brandt said he'll return to Germany to finish up his high school there.
"But I'm planning to come back to the U.S. to go to college," he said.
Honors graduate Hailey Carman said graduation day "feels surreal."
She's headed for the University of Charleston, W.Va., this fall where she'll take nursing studies and will be part of the rowing team.
Fellow honors grad Josh Burke will attend The Ohio State University in the fall, studying biomedical engineering.
"I'm excited," he said about graduation.
"It's kind of sad to be seeing a lot of friends for the last time, but I'm also anxious to be going on with my life."