PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Thursday was graduation day for a record 10,071 students at Temple University.
Students could hardly contain their excitement as they awaited the moment they'd finally walk the stage.
It was the culmination of years of hard work that include sleepless nights, early mornings and tons of stress.
"I finally feel like I can start my life and anything I do now is tangible," said David Bamber. Bamber will graduate with a Masters in Music in Jazz Studies.
Parents were beaming with pride
"I'm looking forward to him achieving success," said Glenn Griffith, of Oxford.
Basketball coaching legend, Fran Dunphy, was among the guest speakers who addressed the class.
Dunphy also received an honorary degree. He had some words of wisdom to share with the students.
"Be happy. Find the thing that's going to make you happy. Be happy in your work," said Dunphy.
The areas of study vary as do the journeys.
Mother and daughter, Annette Cruz and Thatyana Morales, will both be accepting their degrees Thursday.
But the road to commencement was filled with tears, surgeries, long hospital stays and a real fight to live to see this day.
Cruz dropped out of college halfway through after having her children. She re-enrolled two years ago and had two bouts with aggressive breast cancer. She is now cancer free.
"I will always be here no matter what like you were there for me," said Cruz.
"She's just so strong and I'm just so proud of her and I'm honored to have her as my mother," said Morales.
Students from this year's graduating class come from all over the world, with the closest living just two blocks away and the farthest coming from Australia.
Temple University graduates its largest-ever class