GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Friday was a day students at East Carolina University have waited for.

ECU’s graduation ceremony took place at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, and students celebrated their accomplishments and looked back at all the good times they’ve had along the way.

“Just being around good people, having a great time. I love ECU, I’m a pirate at heart,” said Nick Stukey, now an ECU graduate.

“We have dedicated countless hours to our studies, formed lasting friendships, grown as individuals,” said ECU Student Body President and graduate Ryan Bonnett. “Late nights, early mornings, unhealthy amount of coffee, some late-night cry sessions.”

“It obviously wasn’t for nothing. Take a moment for yourself and all the sacrifices it took to get here because you did it.”

One mother and daughter duo graduated together with matching nursing degrees.

“We had some ups and downs … when we were in different classes, we were able to cheer each other on and give each other tips,” said Jessica and Keelin Van Wagenen.

University officials expressed pride over the students’ accomplishments.

“You stayed strong and committed through your time at ECU and now you’re crossing the finish line at a time when the world needs you the most,” ECU Chancellor Phillip Rogers said.

Parents of the students were there to cheer them on.

“We are so proud, so so proud. Coming to football games and everything, the whole ECU experience has just been wonderful. It’s been great,” said Kathy and Robbie Stevens.

The graduates are moving on and ready to tackle whatever comes next.

“Moving to Nashville, Tennessee. I’m working full-time doing sales and marketing,” said Erin Stevens.