As many families across Miami County were preparing to send their students back to school in the coming days, Peru Community Schools honored the Class of 2020 on Friday night.

“Seniors, we have made it,” Student body president, Sofia Babcock, told the graduates in the opening minutes of the ceremony that was delayed until late July because of the coronavirus pandemic. “We did it.”

The ceremony came less than a week ahead of Peru’s Aug. 6 return to classes and just a few days ahead of Maconaquah’s Monday return.

The roughly 45-minute event saw graduates seated well apart from each other on the high school gymnasium floor with most wearing face coverings along with their caps and gowns.

Speakers included Superintendent Sam Watkins, salutatorian, Samantha Zak; and valedictorian, Elsie Walters.

Walters spoke to her classmates about their future and referenced a quote from which she said she draws inspiration.

“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire,” she said.

Walters reminded her classmates that their futures, and the world, waited just beyond the gymnasium doors.

“And it needs us now more than ever,” she said.

“I hope whatever you do after tonight you choose to do with passion.”