NYC subway passengers stage graduation ceremony for a student stuck on a delayed train
Graduating senior Jerich Marco Alcantara missed his commencement ceremony from Hunter College due to a train delay Tuesday morning.
But his fellow passengers helped the 22-year-old recreate the special moment, in spite of the grueling delay on a New York City subway train.
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Alcantara, who was adorned in full regalia in route to the ceremony, told Select All he had already missed the main graduation ceremony at Radio Music Hall earlier that morning because he was only given two tickets and wanted all of his family and friends to be in attendance. So, deciding to forgo the main graduation also meant being present at commencement was even more important to him.
After waiting on the train for nearly 90 minutes due to an issue with the emergency brakes, passengers were informed that conductors weren't able to fix the issue. As a result, they were forced to wait another 20 to 25 minutes for rescue trains to arrive and remove them.
"Everyone seemed annoyed, and by that time, my commencement was already about an hour in," he said. "So I felt like lightening the mood and thanked everyone for 'coming to my graduation.' Told them it meant a lot to me, and they applauded it."
At that point, passengers decided to give Alcantara, who was graduating from the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, a graduation ceremony on the E train.
One of the passengers posted a video of the ceremony to Facebook Tuesday evening, which has since amassed over a million views in less than 24 hours.
"It wasn't so much an idea, but something that just happened," Alcantara explained of the random ceremony.
Once above ground, the nursing student said he and his companions "rushed to the commencement to see if we could make it in time, but saw a bunch of people in gowns on the streets," realizing it was too late.
"So I missed the commencement, but after the auditorium cleared out, my close friends threw me my own little graduation," Alcantara continued, adding that it was still pretty great to have two ceremonies in place of one.