DES MOINES — In black and red graduation gowns, the McCaughey septuplets walked across the stage and accepted their diplomas with the rest of the Carlisle High School Class of 2016 on Sunday.

The siblings — Brandon, Joel, Nathan, Kenny Jr., Natalie, Alexis and Kelsey — have caught the attention of Iowans since their birth Nov. 19, 1997, a day that also drew national media attention to the McCaughey family.

But on Sunday, the septuplets blended in with their peers as they walked onto the school’s football field for the graduation ceremony.

The school’s choirs sang songs, and student speakers Claire Birchmier and Brandon Bui, who also graduated, and faculty speaker Coy Hupfeld offered inspirational anecdotes and inside jokes before the students received their diplomas.

 

Alexis and Natalie McCaughey were among the students recognized as part of the National Honor Society. Natalie was also recognized as being part of the academic top 15% of the class.

After the ceremony, the McCaugheys separated into a crowd of fellow students on the field, hugging and celebrating, before reuniting with their parents for a group photo of the siblings.

 

Days before the septuplets’ graduation week, the McCaughey family declined to be interviewed by media.

Parents Bobbi and Kenny told The Des Moines Register last fall that the children were promised a free college education at Hannibal-LaGrange University in Missouri and that some might accept the offer.

Follow Charly Haley on Twitter: @charlyhaley