Before the 2 p.m. kickoff, 96 cars containing over 100 students — roughly half the graduating class — lined up in the staging area on the MHS parking lot.
The same thought toward students, faculty and support personnel that forced the closing of Marshall schools — and subsequently the remainder of the spring semester — back in March was on display for the graduation of seniors Sunday on the date originally set for commencement.
There was no processional march to their seats to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstances” for graduates, no long, hopeful speeches, none of the usual accoutrements of a graduation ceremony. Instead, Marshall held a drive-by event billed as a Day of Celebration.
Following the customary Homecoming Parade route, family, friends and other supporters cheered as cars festooned with decorations — often including the names of the students inside — made their way along Miami and Arrow Streets to the Court Square.
Vehicles returned to the staging area and parked along the edges of the parking lot for a Senior Unity Photo, the graduates posing in front of their cars, photographed in a panoramic image from atop a Marshall Fire Department ladder truck.
The newly-minted grads finally got to walk at the end, around the sidewalk in front of the school for a last hurrah on a mild, but blustery, afternoon.