Graduating student ends commencement speech early to propose to girlfriend

College Grad Proposes To Girlfriend During Commencement Ceremony
College Grad Proposes To Girlfriend During Commencement Ceremony

This college graduation ceremony ended not with a bang, but with an engagement ring.

The heartwarming story unfolded Saturday as Timothy Babine, a physical education major at the University of Maine Presque Isle, took the stage to deliver his commencement speech. While concise, it left the audience in shock.

Read: Teen Rents a Helicopter In Latest Extravagant Promposal

"First off, I want to start by congratulating my colleagues of the graduating class of 2016," the 23-year-old said at the school gymnasium. "Second — I'll make this really brief — there is a actual special someone here that I want to do something important with."

Moments later, he descends into the audience and approaches his girlfriend of a year and a half years, and falls to one knee.

Though the sound cuts out once Babine leaves the stage, she can be seen covering her mouth in awe, and nodding a fateful, "yes."

"As soon as he was there, I couldn't breathe so I had to nod my head instead," his fiancé Hayley Hamilton, a fine arts major at UMPI, admitted to "When I got outside, I started crying."

Babine said his public proposal follows two other big achievements he accomplished – receiving his diploma, and being accepted into the exercise science graduate program at Marshall University.

"The reason I picked that day was because after graduation, we thought we wouldn't be seeing each other for at least two years," Babine explained.

He told that between his graduate program in West Virginia, and his fiancé's plans to transfer to a college in New Hampshire, where her family lives, he was unsure of where their relationship would take them.

"I kind of ran out of time," he said, but knew in his heart, "I didn't want to wait any longer."

Though the college faculty and other family members had been in on the secret, the proposal caught Hamilton completely off guard.

Read: School Organizes Early Graduation So Student's Terminal Father Could Attend

"I didn't know my parents knew, but apparently, Tim had talked to them for their blessing," Hamilton told

"I'm sorry I'm old-fashioned," he joked in response.

Longtime staff at the university believe Babine's on-stage proposal during graduation was the first to happen in the school's history.

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Originally published