Hunter student stuck on subway misses commencement, 'graduates' on train
NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - Delayed on your way to work? That's one thing. Delayed on your way to the most important day of your life? A college graduate in Queens whose train was delayed so badly he missed his graduation ceremony. Or at least that is what he thought. No one has more reason to complain about train delays than Jerich Alcantara. This was the day he was supposed to officially graduate from Hunter College's Brookdale Campus.
Alcantara said the ceremony was scheduled for 10 a.m. He planned to get there at 9:15 a.m. But instead of walking across the stage and receiving his diploma, Alcantara was stuck on the E train for more than 3 hours.
"The train's emergency brakes went off and they couldn't fix it for an hour and a half," Alcantara said. "So after that, they called rescue trains to pick us up and those didn't show up for another 20 or 30 minutes."
Everyone on the train was upset until Alcantara, in full cap and gown, turned to address the crowd of frustrated straphangers.
"I announced to the whole train I said 'Hey guy thanks for coming out today to see me walk and graduate,'" he said.
What happened next is something that would only happen in New York. Alongside his mom and dad and a couple close relatives, a subway full of total strangers threw him his own graduation ceremony.
He played music through a portable speaker he had in his backpack.
"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 Alcantara and his family finally made it to the venue the ceremony was long over. But he and a few classmates made the most of it. He said some 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."
Because who needs one ceremony when you can have two? Alcantara said he couldn't have asked for a better way to cap off his college career.
Oh, and as for his actual diploma? The president of Hunter College told Fox 5 that she is looking forward to handing it to Alcantara personally.