subway graduation
Credit: Nadiya Afzal /

Crossing the stage to receive a hard-earned degree is something students eagerly look forward to, but what happens when unforeseen circumstances cause you to miss out on your graduation? For Jerich Marco Alcantara, subway passengers held an impromptu graduation ceremony when a two-hour train delay kept the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing graduate from making his ceremony at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall.

In addition to experiencing the typical graduation day anxiety, Alcantara found himself stuck on a delayed train, one hour after his college commencement ceremony had already started. Talk about a total bummer.

But then in a display of heart-warming humanity, Alcantra’s fellow subway passengers staged a graduation ceremony for him right in the middle of the E-train.

“Everyone seemed annoyed, and by that time, my commencement was already about an hour in,” Alcantara told ABC7. “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.”

Fortunately, Alcantara’s positive attitude spread among his friends and other passengers. They presented him with a digital diploma (delivered by cell phone), while someone else played Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).” Another passenger filmed the ceremony and shared the footage on Facebook.

Since then, the subway commencement ceremony has been viewed almost 2 million times. Aand we’ve probably cried real tears while contributing at least 100 of those views.

Although Alcantara eventually made it to the ceremony, he saw all of his fellow graduates outside the venue and knew he’d missed it completely. But his friends made up for it by throwing him another, unofficial ceremony.

How sweet! Congrats to Alcantara for his huge accomplishment, and to his fellow subway passengers for reassuring us that kindness among strangers still exists.