Mollee Karst was one of many Roncalli graduates who considered it a treat that they received their diplomas on Mother's Day in front of those who helped them reach that point.
"It's amazing to share our special day with our moms because they're a big part of our successes," Karst said.
On Sunday afternoon, Roncalli High School's 47th annual commencement was held in the school's gymnasium.
Denise Maag, who watched her daughter, Kristine Maag, graduate Sunday, said she couldn't have imagined getting a better gift for Mother's Day.
"It's truly a gift to see your daughter graduate on Mother's Day," Maag said.
For other mothers, it was a bittersweet feeling to watch their children graduate.
Laurie Schwan, who watched her son, Kory Schwan, graduate, said she was happy to watch her son get his diploma. However, she was also sad because Kory was her youngest child, which meant it was the last time she could see one of her children graduate.
The ceremony itself brought smiles to many faces in the audience, in large part because of commencement speaker Tom Murphy, who is retiring from Roncalli High School after 41 years.
Murphy gave a commencement speech that was memorable not only for his choice of words, but also his entrance and attire.
After coming out to a rendition of the opening theme song from "Star Wars," by the Roncalli High School Band, Murphy stood in front of the graduates in his yellow leisure suit from 1977 and gave a speech that contained wisdom and humor in equal measures.
Using quotes from John Wooden, a legendary college basketball coach, Murphy told the graduates to, among other things, have faith in themselves, count their blessings and to never lie, cheat or steal.
After he gave the advice, he switched gears and told students that whenever he called a student a "knucklehead," it meant he liked them. So he concluded his speech by saying "Class of 2013, you're a bunch of knuckleheads," which resulted in plenty of laughter from the audience, as well as a standing ovation.
Once the graduates received their diplomas, they all headed outside for the ceremonial cap toss, which was followed by a barrage of hugs, handshakes, congratulations and photographs.
After the initial post-commencement celebration, many graduates lingered outside the school and talked about their future plans.
Lynn Renner was not among that group. She had to go home to meet her mother, who had already left to set up her graduation party. Renner already gave her mother gifts for Mother's Day, so she was excited to see what she would get for graduating.
"She got new shoes and a massage. I don't know what I got yet," she said as she went into her car to drive to her party and the next stage in her life.