The class of 2011 rode into the future Wednesday afternoon after gathering as Mustangs one last time for graduation at Key Arena.
The green of their graduation caps and gowns was almost evocative of the Sonics' home games of old, complete with thunderous cheers and the constant barrage of camera clicks.
After an exquisite performance of the national anthem by graduating senior and choir member Erin Kim, the cavernous Key Arena grew silent as Arya Nikjoo took the stage.
Nikjoo, selected as Redmond High's 2011 student commencement speaker, highlighted fate as a big theme while looking upon his fellow Mustangs for the last time.
"We each had to choose our destinies years ago," Nikjoo said, stressing that the people each member of the 2011 class had chosen to become was decided long before today.
"This school has turned us into living success stories," he added. "The skills we have learned here will take us to faraway places."
Nikjoo is in the top 5 percent of his graduating class of 482, bound for the University of California, Berkeley, with the intention of studying medicine.
Following Nikjoo's speech, officials bestowed a series of departmental awards for students who showed excellence in particular academic fields at Redmond High School. Some of the award recipients exchanged spartan handshakes with their teachers, while other graduates literally jumped for joy toward the people that had helped mentor them into adulthood.
As distribution of the diplomas began, it seemed that each of the near 500 graduates had their own personal cheer sections.
While some friends and family in the audience held up homemade signs, others expressed their congratulations by holding it in, letting it all out in one ecstatic burst as Principal Jane Todd called out their graduate's name.
Todd also took an opportunity to address the Redmond class of 2011 directly, calling them inspirations to their peers and a bright component of the future.
"By the power vested in me, I declare you to be the 2011 graduates of Redmond High School," Todd said at the end of her speech.
Ashley Swanson, the 2011 senior class president, delivered an address that was full of nostalgia.
"Thirteen years ago, we got on a school bus as kindergarteners," Swanson said, going on to mention school-side anecdotes and classroom inside jokes that you'd only understand if you had been wearing a green robe.
Swanson also led the graduates in a demonstration of "the roller coaster," a Redmond High tradition in which one student guides the rest into simulating a short ride with their hands and bodies, similar to "the wave" that frequently circles Safeco Field.
"The greatest way to predict the future is to invent it," Swanson said as she and her 481 peers threw their green colored caps into the air, ready to face their uncertain futures head-on.
Editor's note: Are you the proud parent or other relative of a 2011 Redmond graduate? Share your photos of the happy occasion by clicking on the link under the existing images above.