Thousands of Longhorns celebrate graduation amid tight security

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by SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE NEWS and Photojournalist CHRIS SHADROCK

Bio | Email | Follow: @ShannonM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on May 18, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Updated Saturday, May 18 at 10:27 PM

AUSTIN -- Thousands of longhorns wrapped up their time at UT Saturday night.

At the ceremony thousands of grads heard from Olympian and former longhorn Sonya Richards Ross.

President Bill Powers also spoke, he even recognized former UT football star Vince Young, who graduated from the College of Education on Friday.

"I'm feeling all of the emotions, sad, happy, it's just a lot to take in," said UT graduate Mariangela Arata.

Arata is graduating from the College of Natural Sciences with a degree in marine biology and a minor in Spanish.

"These past 4 years have been awesome, it's been a roller coaster. A lot of studying, a lot of going out with friends, a lot of meeting people a lot of time spent hitting the books," she said.

UT Police were ready for the expected 25,000 people.

They say after the bombings in Boston this year they decided to ramp up security and no backpacks or bags bigger than 12 inches will be allowed.

There were also extra officers on site.

"Its a big event because it's all outside and it's not a walled off area, its an open area. so we beef security up to keep everyone as safe as we can," said UT Police Chief Robert Dahlstrom.

Chief Dahlstrom says the number of people is only a fraction of what they deal with at a UT football game but they still bring in additional resources and canine units just in case.

They also checked the bags everyone did bring in, Chief Dahlstrom says most people understand why and there weren't any problems.

 The night finished with fireworks and "The Eyes of Texas."

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