Several months ago there was a sign outside a middle school near where I live which read,
> Congratulations to the promoting class of 2009!
I was familiar with the use of _promote_ as something a school does to a student advancing to the next grade, and the particular significance of being promoted from middle to high school. But the syntactic contexts for this were _school promotes student_ or _promotion of student_, etc., roughly transitive uses. This contrasted in my usage with _graduate_, where a student may graduate or a school may graduate a student. So, for me, _graduating class_ was perfectly normal, while _promoting class_ was out. But it seems to be not all that rare, and after all, why not? If it’s to be used pretty much parallel to _graduate_, why not let it take syntactic positions more like the latter?
But still, would you expect to find it as a main rather than in the _-ing_ form? From [here](http://schools.scusd.edu/ckmcclatchy/home/Announcements/special%20education%20summer%20school%20information.pdf):
> 6th grade students who have promoted in 2008 will attend a middle school campus and 8th grade students who have promoted will be assigned to a high school site.
So far I’ve found only one such thing.
Then, there’s also _advance_. Students and classes advance to the next grade, and there are advancement ceremonies. But would anyone congratulate the _advancing class of 2009_?