No sooner had red and black balloons descended from the rafters than Bowie graduates were asked to shelter in place until bad weather relented.
But even a little thunder and lightning couldn't dampen the spirits of Bulldog Nation on Friday night at the Frank Erwin Center.
"I think this outstanding class deserves a great big round of applause," principal Stephen Kane said. "Their accomplishments speak for themselves."
Bowie, the largest high school in the district, was also among its most competitive, ranking as one of the most challenging high schools in the country by The Washington Post.
Along with more than 600 students, the Bulldogs also toasted the accomplishments of numerous clubs, including its award-winning color guard and yearbook staff.
Among the graduates, outgoing Bowie mascot Hannah Williard will see plenty more of The Drum: the senior standout debuts as the University of Texas mascot, "Hook'em," in the fall.
Congratulations to the Bowie High School class of 2016!