By Jacob Sturm
Multiple bursts of noise from the crowd of Mustang’s 2023 Senior Class’ parents and family members signified the importance of the moment in a large number of Mustang Public Schools students’ lives on Friday night.
The occasion was graduation, with families traveling from Mustang city limits to the well-equipped confines of the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman to participate in the spectacle. The turnout told the district plenty about the community.
Kirk Wilson, the MPS Director of Communications, said the large turnout spoke volumes about the sense of community Mustang puts on display.
“When I was in the stands taking photos from up high, I spoke to probably six or seven different people and three or four of them didn’t have kids that were there,” Wilson said. “They were just there because this is what you do as a Mustang citizen. You support this graduating class. I thought that was pretty powerful. To find that out, I was not necessarily shocked because I know you can feel the sense of community around here, but… that just speaks volumes to what our community does to support our schools.”
First, a loud cheer rang around the stadium when graduates began to file toward their seats dressed in red caps and gowns. Once all the graduates found their seats, numerous speeches from Superintendent Charles Bradley and seniors Alexander Vo and Peter DeSplinter captivated the attention of those present.
Vo, who spoke as the class valedictorian, shared the moment with the graduating class and took a photo from the stage with a disposable camera while tying the idea into his speech. Then DeSplinter, the class president, delivered his speech to the audience’ enjoyment.
Then the commencement happened, sparking another round of cheers from the intently waiting crowd.
One-by-one, each name was read out as students came forward and accepted certificates from members of the Mustang Board of Education, who were only some of a plethora of faculty seated on stage throughout the ceremony.
As the final names were read, the third burst of unprompted energy filled the stadium.Graduates then stood up and moved the tassel from the right to the left of the students’ caps to officially signify graduation.
That’s when the celebrations began.
Wilson said the district is super proud of everything they accomplished throughout their time in the school district.
“We are super proud of everything that they have accomplished and really look forward to following them as they take their next steps,” Wilson said. “I know Mr. Bradley had said that you (the graduates) are always Mustang Broncos. No matter where you go or where you end up living. You’ve always got a home here in Mustang and you’re always going to be a Mustang Bronco. I think those are two of the major sentiments we want to express.”