Toward the end of Tuesday's graduation ceremony, Bel Air High School Principal Gregory Komondor invited the 405 graduating seniors to "move their tassels and forever be the Bel Air High School Class of 2013."
The graduates sitting in the high school's gymnasium for the 198th annual commencement did just that, moving the tassels on their mortarboards from the right to the left in accordance with graduation tradition.
The ceremony was one of a slew of Harford County high school graduations taking place this week.
Graduates Sarah Schulte and Julia Streett gave the student addresses for the evening.
Schulte said high school graduates are often considered the future.
"I'm calling a bluff because we're not the future any more," she said. "We're the present; seize the day because today is our day."
Streett said that, "above all else," the members of the Class of 2013 must be good people.
"Even if we end up useless and destitute in this world, we will be good and that will be noticed," she said.
Xuan Thanh-Nguyen Bui was the class valedictorian.
"May your path be a smooth flight and if your path encounters turbulence I know you have what it takes to soar again in no time," she told her classmates.
Gabriella Zakrocki, senior class president, announced her class's gift, a contribution to a fund started by the Class of 2011 to replace the school's marquee with a larger one.
"We hope the school and community will cherish this gift as much as we will cherish our years as Bel Air Bobcats," she said.
Peggy Morrissey had traveled two-and-a-half hours from her home in Delaware to see her grandson, Patrick Ayers, receive his diploma.
"I'm so proud of him, it's unreal," she said. "He's great, a great kid."
Rhonda Scott of Bel Air cheered as her niece's name, Savannah Gatton, was called.
"She can do anything she wants," Scott said. "She has ambition; she just has to make a decision on what she wants to do."
Hope Daugherty and Chrissy Krach, both 17, gathered outside with their fellow graduates, looking for their parents.
"One day doesn't make you a grown-up but it kind of makes you feel like it for a while," Hope said of the ceremony.
Chrissy said she was "excited for stepping forward to college."
Her mother, Tammy Krach, was also excited for her youngest daughter.