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'We persevered' | University of Memphis sees largest graduating class yet

More than 2,000 students walked across the stage at FedEx Forum on Saturday to celebrate their hard work through the pandemic and beyond.

On Saturday, the university of Memphis held several ceremonies celebrating their historic largest graduating class yet.

There were more than 2,000 students that walked across the stage. Last year's class was expected to be the biggest class after the pandemic, but this year topped the record.

"I feel like the pandemic got a lot to do with it you know," graduate Shanon Wiley said. "People slowed down and went online and stuff, but, you know, I persevered — they persevered and we're all here. We all made it in one big bunch."

"Being the biggest class graduating means that we can make it through the pandemic, and we are doing great things," 

Graduate Tyla'r McGraw said being a part of the biggest class graduating means that the group can "make it through the pandemic," and that already they are all "doing great things." 

"I just want to say to everyone that graduated during this time — being the biggest class — to just keep going and keep going, and 'Go Tigers Go."

Speaking of alumni, 1992 graduate from the U of M Mark Greaney spoke during the commencements. Greaney is is a novelist and a number one New York Times bestseller. An excerpt from Greaney's speech is as follows: 

"If you have the bravery to put yourself out there and the tenacity to keep trying when things don't work out, then you will become unstoppable and good things will happen to you. 

Be impervious to embarrassment. Be relentless, fearless and tenacious. The mistakes and screw ups and rejections are all a crucial part of the journey on your road to success. 

Always give 100 percent, unless you're donating blood."

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