JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -

It was a packed house on Tuesday night in an East Tennessee State University auditorium as the institution recognized more than 800 graduates.

ETSU held its Academic Excellence Convocation, which recognizes students with outstanding academic achievements and completion of special honors.

The university recognized 827 students in the event.

Dr. Rebecca Pyles, Dean of the Honors College, told us it is a night to celebrate student achievement. "We really foster and nurture our students to achieve excellence. If you're going to hope that your students work hard and achieve that kind of excellence, then we want to recognize it. It's really important to give them congratulations and a pat on the back when they've done a super job," Pyles added.

Those honored by Tuesday's ceremony graduated from ETSU in August or December 2013, or will be graduating in May.

Graduation for the university will be held May 10 at the Mountain States Health Alliance Athletic Center.