When the New York City subway system fails, New Yorkers come through. More specifically, commuters came through for a Hunter College student who missed his commencement Tuesday morning because of train delays: They gave him his own impromptu ceremony in the train car so he wouldn’t miss out.
According to Fox 5 NY, Jerich Alcantara was on the E train traveling from the borough of Queens to his graduation, which was scheduled for 10 a.m. at Hunter’s Brookdale campus in Manhattan, all decked out in his purple cap and gown. However, as luck would have it, at around 9 a.m. the train got stuck in the tunnel, where it would sit for more than three hours.
“The train’s emergency brakes went off and they couldn’t fix it for an hour and a half,” Alcantara, who had completed his nursing program, told the news station. “So after that they called rescue trains to pick us up, and those didn’t show up for another 20 or 30 minutes.”
So he missed out on his big moment, but he did not let it stop his shine, and spoke out to the crowd of frustrated commuters.
“I announced to the whole train—I said, ‘Hey, guy, thanks for coming out today to see me walk and graduate,’” he said.
His mom and dad and other close relatives were at his side, but the other commuters wouldn’t let it rest at that. A group of total strangers decided to come together and throw him an impromptu ceremony.
Alcantara played music through a portable speaker in his backpack, and the whole car had a party.
“We got my buddy to hand me the diploma that he drew up on his phone, and he handed it to me, shook my hand like he was the dean; it was great,” Alcantara said.
By the time he and his family made it to the venue, the ceremony was long over, but a few of his close friends from the nursing program told him to meet them in the auditorium.
“And they played some music for me there as well,” he said. “They had me walk down the center aisle, walk across the stage just as if I was doing graduation with them.”
As for his diploma, the president of Hunter College told the news station that she was looking forward to handing it to Alcantara personally.
Read more at Fox 5 NY.