From the Daily Hampshire Gazette
Ben Hyland ’16 felt a bit nostalgic Friday as he donned the Colonial-era uniform he wore as a member of the University of Massachusetts Marching Band for the final time Friday afternoon.
The 2016 graduate, a member of the band’s five-man honor guard, helped lead the processional for the 5,500 graduating seniors into McGuirk Alumni Stadium for the 146th commencement of the flagship campus.
When the processional finished, instead of picking up a clarinet as he usually does to play in the band, Hyland reached for his cap and gown.
The environmental conservation major from Hanover was in a reflective mood as he prepared to graduate. The highlight of his years as a student was being part of the marching band, he said. It took him to the Thanksgiving Parade in New York City in 2013 and to several UMass football games at Gillette Stadium.
Mostly, he said, “It taught me leadership and gave me a role in the community.”