The school was known as Western Maryland College when they enrolled. It was McDaniel College when they crossed the stage yesterday.
So, what should a graduate's diploma say?
The 136-year-old school, conducting its first graduation ceremony since last year's name change, gave the 489 students in its class of 2003 a choice.
Almost half the students chose a diploma saying they graduated from Western Maryland College. The other half chose one with McDaniel - evidence, college officials said, that the new name, which had drawn criticism, is gaining acceptance.
"I don't think it's been a really big deal to [the students], but just that there's half of the students wanting a McDaniel diploma tells us we're well on our way with the name change," said Peggy Fosdick, the Westminster school's director of communications.
Erin Elizabeth Collins, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration and economics, chose a McDaniel diploma because "I thought it was special to be in the first class as McDaniel College," she said.
"Even though I came in as Western Maryland College, 10 years from now we'll be known as McDaniel College and that's what people will know it as," she said.
But Jamin Kyle Bartolomeo, who received a bachelor's degree in psychology, preferred the college's original name.
"I just wanted to stay with the tradition, even though I was on the name change committee," he said. "It was Western Maryland College [to me] for three years and it's always going to be that. It's the last of those diplomas, and that's special to me."
The college is offering students who chose a Western Maryland diploma, as well as alumni, a commemorative McDaniel diploma for the asking, Fosdick said. Bartolomeo said he would get a McDaniel diploma, too.
With the new name came a new logo, which hung behind the stage at the Gill Center. The circular logo incorporates the original Western Maryland College name in Latin.
Otherwise, the school's 133rd graduation ceremony followed tradition.
As the seniors walked between two rows of applauding faculty from Baker Memorial Chapel to the Gill Center, college marshal emeritus James E. Lightner rang the bell in front of Decker Center. The ceremony featured brief remarks by college President Joan Develin Coley, a parent and a faculty member to the crowd of about 4,000 graduates, faculty, family and friends.
Denise Merson, mother of graduate Melissa Merson, urged the class to "take a moment to thank your parents and family. Without their unconditional love and support, both emotionally and financially, you may not have walked this stage today."
Retiring art professor Wasyl Palijczuk told the class good-bye in 13 languages. Other retiring faculty included William C. Chase, history; Daniel A. Williams, foreign languages; and Laurence C. Wu, philosophy.
In all, the college awarded 137 master's degrees and 352 bachelor's degrees to students from nine countries. The international aspect was noted when Kamilla Hanna Joskowiak was hooded with a master of science in deaf education - on top of her cap she sported a Polish flag for the land of her birth, a Canadian flag for the country she emigrated to, and an American flag for the college.
Four students had a 4.0 or better grade point average, including Amber Loverock of Thurmont, who received the Argonaut Award, given for having the highest GPA. Loverock had a 4.11 GPA after earning extra points for plus grades.
A second honors award, the Edith Farr Ridington Phi Beta Kappa Writing Award, was presented to Allen Whitefield Silfee of Westminster for having the best honors paper.
One member of the Class of 2003 did not receive his diploma yesterday. Frank Lee Wright, a 79-year-old resident of Carroll Lutheran Village who earned a bachelor's degree in religious studies, is to receive his diploma Wednesday during a personal visit from Coley.
Two honorary degrees were presented. McCay Vernon, a former professor of psychology emeritus and director of the former Western Maryland College Institute on Hearing Impairment, received a doctor of letters. Harlow Fullwood Jr., a former Baltimore Colts football player, police officer and philanthropist, received a doctor of public service in absentia. Fullwood was unable to attend the ceremony because of health problems.