At 8 p.m., 19 seniors of Southland High School began what would be their last event as a group as they entered the gymnasium to the usual "Pomp And Circumstance."
The 19 graduating seniors are: Zachary Kyle Barnett, Joseph Troy Casteel, Michael Shayne Patrick Cole, Garrett Daniel Cude, Brandon Keith Haneline, Ashley Nicole Horne, Matthew Miles Horner, Matthew Dean Houseman, Erica Jean Long, Amanda Kay Miller, Matthew Lee Nipper, Shane Michael Norks, Rachel Michelle Pumphrey, Stacie Whitney Russell, Stephanie M. Schremmer, Jessica Lee Twitty, Gary Michael Walker and Tyre Ezekiel Washington.
Lori Evans began the evening by singing the Star Spangled Banner with the Pledge of Allegiance following in unison.
Zachary Barnett, Southland's 2006 class president gave the welcome address before class Salutatorian Shane Norks gave his speech.
Norks began by reminiscing about the class's early years together, how they fought then made up, only to become more like family.
"I have made so many friends through my years here at Southland," Norks said. "First and foremost, I would like to thank Garrett Cude. He has been my best friend. He helped me through so many hard times," he continued.
"Garrett will be leaving soon as he begins his journey as a member of our United States Army. I pray for his safety and well-being as he begins his new life and career, but most of all, I thank him for being my best friend," he said.
Norks went on to add that he is grateful for those who have shown him the importance of family, the importance in working, earning money and investing it wisely.
"Of all the people who have helped me pull through when I was willing to take the easy way out, God is the one I thank the most," Norks said.
Southland principal Ted Wilkerson presented several students with scholarships before turning the floor over to other scholarship presenters attending.
Educational scholarships awarded were:
* A $300 scholarship from the Classroom Teacher's Association was awarded to Stephanie Schremmer.
* The Excellence in Education Committee awarded a $300 scholarship to Stephanie Schremmer and a $200 scholarship to Shane Norks.
* The Library Club awarded a $125 scholarship to Erica Long and a $100 scholarship to Stephanie Schremmer.
* The Student Council awarded a $100 scholarship to Stephanie Schremmer, $50 to Jessica Twitty and $25 to Garrett Cude.
* Future Teachers of America awarded a $100 scholarship to Erica Long.
* FFA awarded four $150 scholarships. They were awarded to Shayne Cole, Garrett Cude, Matt Horner and Stephanie Schremmer.
* The Spanish Club awarded Stephanie Schremmer with a $150 scholarship. She also received a $150 scholarship from National Honor Society.
* Stacie Russell was the recipient of a $100 Art Club scholarship.
* Amanda Miller and Erica Long both were recipients of a $200 FCCLA scholarship.
* Stephanie Schremmer and Stacie Russell, both were recipients of a $200 FBLA scholarship.
* The Sherril Williams Honorarium Project Graduation awarded Garrett Cude and Tyre Washington with a $50 scholarship.
As the ceremony neared its end, Amanda Miller read a poem to fellow classmates.
"It's over now, we say good-bye. We must show what we learned at Southland High. The real world has come, all way too fast; Remembering now, what we left in the past. From headstart to high school, all our memories we shared, We thank all the ones who showed us they cared. A journey through life, from one class to another, brought us all closer like sisters and brothers. The students and teachers are like family now; We must face the new world, but don't know quite how. We will take the next step, all on our own, Using the hope and love that to us you have shown."
Student council representative Erica Long thanked everyone for attending as the ceremony ended.
Southland High School extends its appreciation to those who awarded additional scholarships to its graduating seniors. They were on behalf of: First Security State Bank, Cardwell Lion's Club, Wilborn Farms, Hardin Girls' Farm, Gibson & Son Farms, Elinor Campfield, 7UP/RC, Hornersville Masonic Lodge #215, T.J Bishop, Senath State Bank, Clayton Wood Memorial, Vera Lee Langston Memorial, Arbyrd High School Class of 1948, Wright Memorial, Cardwell Co-op Gin, NUCOR Corporation, Three Rivers Community College, Arkansas Northeastern College and Southeast Missouri State University.