It’s that time of year again. The semester is winding down, finals are upon us and graduating seniors are getting ready to walk across the stage on their big day. It’s a time of year chock-full of emotions. Anxiety, stress and sheer terror have been seen on the faces of more than a few. However, there is also an excitement in the air that is hard to miss.

This semester, 1,907 Grand Valley State University students are eligible to graduate. These are our classmates, roommates, rivals and best friends. After Saturday, they will be off in the real world spreading their wings, or whatever other sentimental cliché you wish to insert there.

Though really, if you think about it, these clichés do have a bit of truth to them. Graduates from GVSU have gone on to do amazing things. For starters, Brian Calley is Michigan’s current Lieutenant Governor. He got his MBA from GVSU in 2000. Then there is Howard Bailey. He played for the GVSU baseball team and then went on to play for three seasons with the Detroit Tigers as a pitcher.

John Beyrle served as the ambassador of the United States to the Russian Federation from July 3, 2008 until Jan. 10, 2012. You can’t say that’s not impressive. There’s even a president in our mix. Tommy Remengesau was President of Palau from 2001 to 2009.

And of course, we cannot forget Greg Colton, the animation director for the television show Family Guy.

This semester’s group of graduates will be no different. Why? Because they’re Lakers.

In a convocation speech from 2013, communications professor Danielle Leek said that being a Laker is a way of life. Historically, Lakers carried cargo in great ships across Lake Michigan, facing freezing water below and terrible tempests ahead.

According to Leek, Lakers are four things. They are incredibly brave; they embrace teamwork; they accept the power of things they cannot control; they weather the storm.

The Lakers that are graduating on Saturday may not have been aboard a barge during their four years here, but they absolutely have weathered some wicked storms in their time at GVSU. Many students struggled through group projects, midterms, finals, messy ends to relationships, family concerns and countless other issues that come with being a college student. Some probably even had their dog actually eat their homework at some point.

And yet, the members of the Laker family poised to graduate this Saturday have weathered the storm and made it out with their sanity in tact. Well, for the most part…hopefully.

The Lanthorn congratulates the students now joining the ranks of GVSU alumni on their achievements during their time at GVSU. We look forward to following all of their accomplishments and wish them the best of luck in their futures.