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UA students celebrate at 152nd Commencement

Posted at 11:34 PM, May 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-14 02:36:50-04

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The University of Arizona class of 2016 has been made official.

As many as 4,000 students packed the field at Arizona Stadium for the 152nd Commencement ceremony while close to 40,000 visitors watched in the stands.

"Welcome to University of Arizona's 152nd Commencement," said university president Ann Weaver Hart which started off ceremonies.

University faculty recognized students from their achievements while at school and handed out a honorary degrees to professionals.

President of Associated Students of the University of Arizona, Manuel Felix, spoke in front of his classmantes to reflect on his time as an undergraduate.

"Going to college is like looking both ways before crossing the street and then getting hit by a plane," he said.

A handful of "U of A" chants rang through students on the field throughout the ceremony. 

U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, was the commencement speaker this year. He made a few jokes with students at the beginning of his speech. 

"I actually feel like I already know you because I've been there are formative moments in your life. Like the time you were standing under the bleachers at your high school and somebody offered you a cigarette. You politely declined because you knew smoking causes cancer and I was right there on the side of the cigarette box backing you up," joked Dr. Murthy.

The night ended with the university president conferring all students' degrees.

"By the authority invested in my by the Arizona Board of Regents, and acting upon the recommendation of the faculty, I confer upon each of you the appropriate bachelors degree with all the intended rights and responsibilities, please accept my warmest congratulations," said Ann Weaver Hart.

After singing the Alma Mater and another brief "U of A" chant, fireworks lit up the night sky.