Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

Graduate stuck on delayed subway gets underground ceremony

Jerich Marco Alcantara and his parents.

A delayed train kept Jerich Marco Alcantara from his official graduation ceremony, but it didn't stop his friends, family, and fellow subway riders from ensuring he experienced some pomp and circumstance.

Alcantara was set to graduate from Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing in New York City on Tuesday morning, and left early enough so he would arrive well before the ceremony began at 9:15 a.m. His Manhattan-bound train came to a stop, and "after 45 minutes, I knew I was already late, but I kept hoping that I'd at least make it to walking the stage," he told New York's Select All. As the minutes ticked by, Alcantara — donning his cap and gown — knew he wouldn't get there in time, and that's when the train came together to throw him an impromptu ceremony. "It wasn't so much an idea, but something that just happened," he said. "Everyone was getting antsy and impatient, so I figured I'd lighten the mood by thanking everyone for coming out. That led to applause, and the rest just followed."

His friend created a diploma on his cellphone, a rider started to play music on his phone, and everyone watched as Alcantara received his own private ceremony. The train was ultimately delayed three hours, and by the time Alcantara arrived on campus, his fellow graduates were leaving. That didn't stop Alcantara's friends and family from holding another spontaneous ceremony, this time alone inside the auditorium. "It was a great time," Alcantara said. Catherine Garcia