Berry Farms residents held a parade on Tuesday for the 18 graduates in their neighborhood to lift their spirits during this time of cancellations and isolation.
Five graduates in the neighborhood were high school seniors and 13 earned higher-ed degrees, including doctorates of veterinary medicine, physical therapy and pharmacy.
Marta Eynatten, who is one of five members of the neighborhood’s social and hospitality committee, said that Berry Farms is a very tight-knit community and this was just one way for residents to connect outside their homes during this time.
“We’re such a close-knit community, so it has been difficult, but I would say we’ve done a great job of staying connected as much as possible,” she said.
Eynatten said that the neighborhood normally holds monthly potlucks and happy hours in addition to holiday celebrations, but COVID-19 has put a damper on the regularity of these events. However, she said this parade was very timely as it followed a very difficult event for the neighborhood, that being the recent violent attack of two residents.
“It was perfect timing ... everyone needed some smiles,” she said.
The parade did bring smiles as some graduates dressed up in their caps and gowns, some decorated a trailer with balloons and the entire crew was escorted by Christian Tidmore of the Williamson County Fire Rescue Squad in a firetruck.
After the parade full of homemade signs and custom “floats” made from golf carts, unicycles and tricycles, neighborhood residents held a small ceremony to give gifts and personalized yard signs to each graduate.
Listed below are the 13 honored higher-ed graduates.
• Grayson Foster earned a bachelor's in aerospace engineering with a minor in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Foster graduated magna cum laude.
• Clay Dennis graduated from the University of Mississippi and is commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.
• Anne Park Harlan graduated with honors from an accelerated program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, becoming a doctor of pharmacy.
• Alyssa Hunnicutt earned a bachelor's in communication design from Belmont University. Hunnicutt graduated magna cum laude.
• Patrick Meadows earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Gustavus Adolphus College. Meadows graduated summa cum laude.
• Tyler Burhart became a doctor of physical therapy at Belmont University.
• Mary Megan Wilson became a doctor of physical therapy at Belmont University and graduated magna cum laude.
• Caroline Mefford became a doctor of veterinary medicine at Auburn University.
• Kayla Ryan graduated from Spring Hill College.
• Zach Rhodes graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
• Anne Schwartz graduated from Michigan State University.
• Mary Catherine McBride graduated from Samford University.
• Kristin Goggin graduated from Union University.