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Cumberland grads celebrate all they have overcome

With faces concealed by masks and heads topped with angular mortar boards, the eyes of each Cumberland High School (CHS) graduate were hinting at wide, proud smiles hidden underneath as seniors gathered to walk across the stage and receive their diploma at the CHS Class of 2021 Graduation.

The event, held Friday, May 14, was split into two graduation ceremonies held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to allow for social distancing.

With hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships under their belts, the graduates listened Friday to the words of CHS Principal Eugene Williams, Jr. as he spoke about the “2020 vision” students had developed after a full year of school influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You sacrificed homecoming, pep rallies and prom, yet every day as I walked these halls and logged into Google Live meets, I saw nothing but students trying to make the best of a difficult situation, and that is the mark of maturity,” Williams said.

“My hope for each and every one of you is that you will use your vision in a positive way and be a blessing to your fellow man and a credit to your community. My hope is that you grow to be a contributing citizen to a nation that so desperately needs your collaboration, your communication, your creativity and your critical thinking. And most of all, I hope you know that Duke nation and the CHS staffing loves you, and there’s absolutely nothing you will ever be able to do about it.”