FAIRLESS HILLS, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The 2020 graduates of Pennsbury High School gathered at Falcon Field on Tuesday night for a ceremony many were not even expecting due to COVID-19
"Like I thought along with everyone else that we probably wouldn't have any graduation, even like virtual, so it's cool to be able to go out here and social distance," said graduate Zach Holzberg.
Although school officials managed to preserve some of the traditional elements of a graduating ceremony, things were much different this year due to the virus.
The graduating class of 780 students had to be split up over two nights. Those whose last names began with L-Z will graduate Wednesday night.
Everyone must wear masks and social distance six feet apart, and only two guests per student is allowed.
The event will be live-streamed online at Pennsburychannel.com
"They deserve it, they've been great during this shutdown. They worked really hard in virtual learning and this is just a great way to honor them," said Pennsbury High School - East Principal Reggie Meadows.
"All of us should become comfortable having leaders like you drive us into the future, and I know I am," said T.R. Kannan, Pennbury's school board president.
Jason Turner, Pennsbury's student council president, urged his classmates not to hide behind masks that hide who they really are just to make others happy, but to be true to themselves, gay, straight or otherwise.
"You do not need to be somebody else to be great, for many of the greatest people I will ever know are amongst you," said Turner.
A number of students have plans to further their education after graduating.
"I'm going to Jefferson University," said Diarta Kabash.
"I'm going to Temple University," said Sonya Benegal.
Many of them were grateful to be able to see each other again perhaps for one last time before they follow their different paths.
"Even though it's not exactly what we thought it would be, it's still a great one because we're getting to be here together," said Bediako.
Pennsbury High School holds socially distanced graduation ceremony