- “Today is about change. Graduation doesn't just mean your circumstances change, it means you do. You ascend to a higher level. Nothing will ever be the same. Nothing.”
- ―Richard Wilkins[src]
The graduation was going to go as planned with Mayor Wilkins there to present a speech before ascending into the Old One Olvikan where he sought to devour the graduating students. Initially, Faith was to be at his right hand, however, she fell into a coma the night before after jumping from a roof. The Mayor though did have several dozen vampires that were ordered to enter from the sewers, behind the student's seats and make sure that none of them escaped, they were however also forbidden to feed on any escapees as the Mayor needed eat to sustain himself during the first few seconds of ascension.
During the ceremony, the Mayor still continued with his speech though his ascension went earlier than planned, preventing the him from starting his section on "civic pride" when an eclipse activated his ascension before the students and faculty. The Scooby Gang, well aware of the Mayor's plan, managed to convince the entire graduating class to be part of a surprise attack against the Mayor. Seconds after his transformation the students unveiled their robes and revealed a verity of weapons such as stakes and crosses. Larry Blaisdell and another student employed the use of flamethrowers. The "first wave" included various students, including Willow Rosenberg, firing at the Mayor with ranged weapons like harpoon guns, spears, and crossbows, under the command of Xander Harris. The vampires then cornered in on the fleeing students, beating them. Oz noticed this and Xander ordered a number of students wielding flaming longbows to deal with them. With several of them dusted, the vampires retreated until they noticed Angel, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, and Percy West with a number of other fighters behind them. The students and Angel's army horded into battle with the vampires.
During the battle, even though the vampires were handled well, the Mayor remained unharmed and uninjured by the class' efforts and took the lives of Larry and Principal Snyder who was eaten after showing his disapproval of the event. Buffy told the students to fall back while she accosted the Mayor and left Xander to give the orders. Xander told them to initiate close combat, sporting swords, axes, and even baseball bats. During this, one of the vampires disobeyed the Mayor by siring Harmony Kendall. Buffy drew the Mayor's attention and pulled out Faith's knife, detailing how she gutted her with the intention of angering the Mayor. As the Mayor remained unresponsive, Buffy enraged his fury by calling him a "dick", knowing his dislike towards swearing.
The Mayor followed Buffy into the school building to the library. Buffy jumped out of a window while the Mayor was left in the library which he just noticed was filled with explosives. Rupert Giles, given Buffy's signal, detonated the explosives, destroying the Mayor and the school. The remaining students watched as the school was set ablaze and, with every vampire dead, they were left victorious. 
With the battle ended and the world saved, a large number of ambulances and fire trucks were called to put out the fire and assist the injured fighters. As this happened, Buffy and Angel looked at each other as he took his leave, the last time they saw each other face-to-face until she visited his detective agency in Los Angeles some months later.
From that Buffy, Willow, and Oz moved on to attend UC Sunnydale, while Xander went on an unsuccessful cross-country trip. Cordelia Chase also travelled to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career after her parents were imprisoned for tax fraud, though ended up working for Angel at his agency.
After three years, Sunnydale High was eventually rebuilt in 2002 with Robin Wood as principal and Buffy as guidance counselor. However, the school was destroyed once more in 2003, along with the rest of Sunnydale.
- Even though only a few student deaths are shown onscreen, it was later confirmed in "This Year's Girl" that "lots of students died".