CLEVELAND -- Students at St. Joseph Academy in Cleveland's West Park neighborhood graduated Tuesday, completing the traditional half-mile "Walk of the Roses" that decades of students have done before.

Students, dressed in their caps and gowns, walked down Rocky River Drive carrying a dozen roses each,amid cheers of friends, family and alumni.

The featured speaker was Ohio Supreme Court Justice Maureen O'Connor.

"Now is the time to challenge yourselves and to explore all your options," O'Connor said in her speech. "Chances are, you will reinvent yourself time and time again. You chose a non-traditional path of an all-girls school. Continue to be a non-traditionalist and pursue your passions. Don't be afraid to take risks!"

The day's ceremonies was also shared by many local first responders and emergency workers. Fifteen graduates have parents in law enforcement and other allied service fields.

Among the officers assigned to the church that day was 1991 St. Joseph Academy graduate Jen Kemer.

The graduates earned about $20.8 million in scholarships and were accepted to 120 different colleges and universities.