The Bethlehem Eagles have left the nest

The 2008 Eagles have officially flown from their nest in Bethlehem, using the stage of the University at Albany's SEFCU arena as a springboard to enter onto a much larger stage the world.

Bethlehem Central School District held its 74th commencement on Friday, June 27, at the University at Albany to the cheers of thousands of family and friends who filled the bleachers in order to catch a glimpse of their loved ones clad in black robes making their way across the stage. Aside from a few jokes from students and administrators, and the occasional beach ball that made its way into the disapproving hands of a nearby teacher, the graduation ceremony was heartfelt and filled with sage advice.

Congratulations Bethlehem Central Class of 2008, you've all done a good job. We may not be perfect, but you are far closer to being so than Tom Brady and New England Patriots will ever be," said graduating senior Brendan Herrmann.

Herrmann listed the individual schools that make up the district, whose students ultimately end up together in the high school, to loud applause from different sections of the graduating class as each of the schools was named.

Fellow graduate Kelly McCall delivered the opening remarks for the commencement and offered some words of advice to her class.

"This is our time to go out into the world and become anything and everything we desire to be," McCall said. "We will leave here tonight and move on in different directions some of us will go to war, some of us will deal with tragedy, while others are destined to be great, but wherever we go, whatever path we choose, we have nothing to fear for we will never be alone on this day, we will always have that parent or that teacher or that friend and no matter where you are or what we are doing, you will recall all of the times you shared."

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