Heartfelt hugs, rousing cheers, inspiring speeches, happy tears …

Capturing the tide of emotions during graduation festivities on the hilltop is a tall order for a short story. We’ll let these photos speak for the joy, pride and memories of a milestone that was a lifetime in the making.

Professor assists a St. Edward's student with his graduation cap and gown
St. Edward's Latinx students in their graduation caps, gowns and stoles

Family, friends, faculty and staff joined pre-graduation day events on campus to celebrate stoling ceremonies for our Black, Latinx, LGBTQ, CAMP and Veteran students.

St. Edward's students share a hug at LGBTQ Lavendar Graduation
St. Edward's CAMP graduate and teacher hold lighted candle
St. Edward's graduating veterans class of 2019 hold US flag on steps of Main Building

On the eve of Commencement, close to 500 students gathered for the Hilltop Send-off. This cherished tradition features the Legacy Walk around the university seal and the Red Doors Revelry in which graduates exit the doors of Main Building, symbolizing the completion of their St. Edward’s experience and entry into our alumni community.

Dr. Martin toasts 2019 graduates at Hilltop Send-Off
2019 St. Edward's graduates gather at Hilltop Send-Off
St. Edward's graduate holds SEU Alumni Association flag
2019 St. Edward's graduates walk through the red doors of Main Building

For faculty and graduates, Commencement day began with a flurry of behind-the-scenes preparations, last-minute visits and live music accompanying their procession into the Frank Erwin Center auditorium.

St. Edward's facutly members visit backstage prior to the 2019 St. Edward's Commencement Ceremony
St. Edward's graduates in caps and gowns line up back stage for 2019 Commencement procession
Two St. Edward's graduates chat while sitting on floor backstage as they await the 2019 Commencement Ceremony
St. Edward's jazz band plays as students enter the commencement hall
2019 St. Edward's graduates process into commencement hall and wave to family members

Commencement speaker Christopher Washburne, renowned educator and jazz musician at Columbia University, and Jennifer Dennington, Class of 2019 Valedictorian, shared powerful and inspirational words with the St. Edward’s community.

2019 Commencement speaker Christopher Washburne receives his honorary degree stole
St. Edward's graduates listen to speakers at 2019 Commencement
St. Edward's valedictorian Jennifer Dennington speaks at 2019 Commencement

To the applause and cheers of mentors, friends and loved ones, nearly 1,000 bachelor’s and master’s degree recipients walked the stage during the St. Edward’s University 133rd Commencement Ceremony.

St. Edward's graduate receives his dipolma at 2019 Commencement Ceremony
Audience cheers as graduates receive their diplomas at the 2019 St. Edward's Commencement Ceremony
A St. Edward's professor gives his student a big hug after presenting diploma at 2019 Commencement

Congratulations to our graduates! You make us proud. As you begin life beyond the hilltop, remember the advice of Valedictorian Jennifer Dennington: “St. Edward’s wants us to take on our world, and we’ve already started! Let’s continue being courageous risk-takers and keep doing the work we’ve begun.”

Graduation cap with "On to My Next Adventure" lettering
Excited parents greet thier graduate after 2019 St. Edward's Commencement
Hilltopper family poses outdoors with umbrellas after 2019 Commencement Ceremony
Two St. Edward's graduates pose with flowers and diplomas after the 2019 Commencement Ceremony
St. Edward's graduate poses with flowers, balloons and her diploma after 2019 Commencement Ceremony

Photography by Chelsea Purgahn