BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The Virginia Tech (VT) Hokies held their 2023 commencement ceremony on May 12th for the graduating class.

The ceremony kicked off at 9 a.m. with Lane Stadium packed with eager graduates and families.

“I’m just really glad to be able to come and you know celebrate his final celebration and you know his new stage of life,” said Alison List, a VT graduates parent.

More than 7,000 graduates and their families and friends were expected to attend.

“I am very happy, but you know also very wistful you know about leaving Blacksburg it’s a very beautiful area, wonderful school and I’ve made very close friends here so I’m going to miss it but I’m happy for the experience,” said Sophia Silis, VT graduate.

One graduate who was one of the Hokie bird mascots during her time at VT said she is excited but is also going to miss her time at the university.

“I mean just leading up to graduation. You know I realize how much it means to me to be the bird to be able to represent the school and you know it’s just even the little things whether its big events like weddings or just sporting events or just driving around campus so rewarding to just see the impact that you have on people’s day. I’m just so proud to represent the school,” said Rachel Mirsen.

During the ceremony Frank Beamer the most winning coach in VT history was presented with the UT Prosim medal and Nikki Giovanni and renowned poet and VT professor received the UT Prosim Scholar Award.

It will continue to be a busy weekend at VT as graduation ceremonies continue with more than 6,000 students being honored throughout the weekend.