BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - It was a somber celebration as hundreds of alumnae, students and supporters of Holy Angels Academy gathered to celebrate school's history and tradition.
After more than 150 years educating students, the school will close for good at the end of June.
"It's been bitter-sweet," said school President and Principal Joan Thomas.
"We had our last class day on Thursday, and the girls were wonderful. They presented all their teachers with flowers. They presented all the underclassmen with certificates. It was kind of sad, but at the same time people understand that this is what has happened, and we need to make the best of the situation," continued Thomas.
Current and former students gathered at the school after a special mass to walk the halls one last time, snapping pictures and exchanging hugs.
One former student in attendance graduated with the class of 1936, covering 77 years of history at the school.
For many families, the closing of the school marks an end to a generational tradition of girls attending Holy Angles. And the news of its closing is still hard to swallow.
"I really don't want to celebrate its closing. I'd rather we were moving forward and celebrating the continued operation of it," said Michaelene Bernat, President of the Holy Angels Family Guild.
And even though the halls of the school will go quiet after this year, the memory, traditions and legacy of Holy Angels Academy will go on.
"Everybody talked to everybody. Everybody supported one another and I think that will still move forward. We will still try to stay in touch," said Bernat.
"I don't think there will be a girl who walks out of here who will not continue community service and love of family," added Thomas.