SANFORD — Sanford High School’s graduation ceremony at Cobb Stadium on Wednesday evening was a memorable milestone for the young men and women of the Class of 2018 who collected their diplomas. The night was also something else: historic.

During their speeches, both Valedictorian Sophie Cote and Salutatorian Jenna Beaudoin declared to their peers that the occasion marked a truly final moment: that night’s graduation ceremony would be the last one at Cobb Stadium and the last one to have seniors who attended all four years at the current Sanford High. Next year, members of the Class of 2019 will collect their diplomas during a commencement ceremony at the new high school in South Sanford.

During her speech, Cote thanked the parents, teachers, coaches and members of the community who have supported her classmates’ endeavors. She also described what she and her fellow graduates could expect as they enter the “real world.”

“We will become entrenched in lives that are not restricted to this school, town, state, or even country,” Cote said. “Whether we go to college, join the military, or enter the workforce, we are moving on, crossing an invisible border into a new world. Like high school, the future will be messy and unpredictable. With it will come the inevitable chaos of adulthood. Despite the uncertainty of this strange, new world, we will experience the most freedom we’ve had in our lives — the freedom to pursue our ambitions and desires without restraint.”

For the Class of 2018, Cote said she had one wish: that all classmates take the lessons they have learned during the past four years and use them to “pursue our passions to the extent that memories of high school will become permanently overshadowed.”

“As we enter the world of adulthood, let us live our ideals,” Cote said. “Let us strive towards the lives we’ve imagined, with enough vigor that we can, as Steve Jobs once said, ‘make a dent in the universe’.”

In her speech, Beaudoin framed the occasion as one for families, friends, teachers and mentors as much as one for the graduates.

“Graduation is not just for the graduates,” she said. “It is for the people who support us — the people who helped us get here. Today is for the parents and family members who have gone above and beyond to ensure our success, the ones at every game and every performance, cheering us on — or, in my case, making a giant sign with my name on it at the Memorial Day Parade. Thanks, Mom.”

“You’re welcome!” Beaudoin’s mother called out from the stands, prompting many in the crowd to share a good laugh.

Mother Nature threatened rain earlier in the day — it sprinkled a bit a couple of hours before the event — but everything worked out well. Anyone who brought an umbrella to the commencement ceremony ended up not needing it.

The ceremony followed treasured traditions. Dressed in red and white caps and gowns, the graduates marched across the football field to their seats while the Sanford High School Band played Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance.” The band and SHS Chorus performed “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The choir then sang “The Road Home,” by Stephen Paulus, and the band afterwards performed “Yorkshire Ballad,” composed by James Barnes.

Teacher Harry Spiliopoulos delivered the Charge to the Graduates. He started his speech by asking all of the graduates to stand and applaud their parents for “surviving the first 18 years of your life.” From there, Spiliopoulos urged the graduates to “grab life with both hands and enjoy the ride.” He encouraged them to be open to change, to be resilient and adapt to the twists and turns of life.

“If you don’t like the direction in which life is taking you, you can always go in another direction,” he said. “The thing about life is that you can always reinvent yourself and become the person you want to be . . . The amount of satisfaction you get from life depends largely on your own ingenuity, your self-sufficiency, and your resourcefulness.”

During the ceremony, Principal Matthew Petermann honored the academic, athletic and personal achievements of four graduates. He presented the Alumni Cup to Savannah Perry, the Tribune Cup to Marli Savage Wilson, the Campbell Cup to Nicholas Works, and the Achievement Cup to Hailey Nolette.

Afterwards, Petermann, Superintendent of Schools David Theoharides, and School Committee Chairman John Roux presented the graduates with their diplomas, as Class President Hailey Nolette called all of them onto the stage, one by one. New diplomas in hand, the graduates capped this moment by standing together and singing the classic hit song, “Lean on Me.”

Shortly after, they marched from their seats to the other end of the football field, while the SHS Band played Mendelssohn’s “War March of the Priests.” When they reached their destination, they tossed their caps high into the night and cheered.

Graduate Cooper Van Gieson said he felt “great” after the ceremony. For his next step, he will be attending Brigham Young University.

“I’m going to go into general studies, and figure it out from there,” he said, adding that he also will be doing mission work for his church.

Fellow graduate Elizabeth Bernier is off to the University of Southern Maine this fall and plans to become an optometrist. She said she enjoyed this big moment in her life.

“I thought it was a real good time,” she said, diploma in hand. “I loved it. It was an awesome ceremony.”