By Alyssa Judd

The 69th Annual Opening Convocation was a time when some students cry, smile, and laugh.

For many Hampton University seniors it was a reminder that they have made it through three challenging years.

It was a reminder that in a few short months they will walk in front of hundreds of people with a degree in hand.

It was a reminder that they must soon part from their college friends.

The ceremony took place at 10:45 am on Sunday, Sept. 25. The Class of 2012 has used the days approaching to prepare for the event held in Ogden Hall.

From Tuesday through Thursday students could be seen crossing the campus with their graduation regalia in hand. Some students even went as far as to put their graduation gowns on and run around.

Raven Powers, sociology major and Leadership Studies minor, was one of those students. Along with the fixing of her gown, she has planned her debut strategically: “I’m getting my hair done on Friday morning. My parents are coming to town so I will have to straighten up for them, and I’m having my graduation photo-shoot that Saturday.”

For the North Carolina native this weekend was a big deal. Her mother came up during Parent’s Weekend and Convocation for the past three years; now it was her daughter’s time to shine.

Sean Walton’s Convocation plans were a bit different. The North Carolinian didn’t have a schedule for his festivities. For Walton, Convocation would just be a weekend celebration with friends. When the five-year MBA participant was approached he still needed to purchase his attire for Sunday.

Although Walton was unbelievably calm about the event he referred to Convocation as “the first step realizing it’s about to be real and realizing it’s about to be over.”

Other students kept their festivities to a minimum too.

Taukeya Brooks, an English major from Maryland, said she needed to buy black pumps and stay in the night before in order to wake up on time.

Marcus Heyer did not plan to attend at all. The psychology major and criminology minor must work on Sunday. He said that if it weren’t for his job he would be in attendance.

Whether students are extremely enthused or composed about the event it will leave a lasting impression. For the graduating students of 2012 Convocation is a reward. It reminds students that they have successfully completed three years and are on the last stretch home.