Stuck subway prompts NYC grad to hold underground ceremony

They threw him a graduation party inside the train itself! Or at least that is what he thought. He was dressed in his purple cap and gown, but around 9 a.m. the train got stuck in the tunnel for more than three hours.

Instead of walking the stage at Hunter College on the Upper East Side, Alcantara was stuck on a stalled E Train deep under Queens.

Even after 90 minutes of effort, conductors were unable to fix the problem and rescue trains had to be called to remove passengers.

"I figured I'd lighten the mood by thanking everyone for coming out", he told New York Magazine.

So in true NY fashion, you make the most of what you've got, even if that means one of life's biggest moments has to go down on the E-train.


When it became apparent he was not going to make it, his fellow straphangers made a decision to throw him his own graduaton ceremony. A friend gave him a virtual "diploma", drawing one on his cellphone, while someone else pulled out some speakers and queued up some nostalgic music.

"At first I was anxious we'd be late", Alcantara told CNN.

There was a separate ceremony later that day, but Alcantara specifically wanted to make the early ceremony, because students only had access to two tickets for friends and family at the latter event. "But after the auditorium cleared out, my close friends threw me my own little graduation", he continued. "He handed me his iPhone with the diploma on it, shook hands and everything, as if he was a dean", he said. "So I decided I'd just thank everyone for being there for my graduation, that it meant a whole lot to me".

It's the one day where you celebrate all that hard work you've done.


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