New Yorkers Stage Makeshift Graduation Ceremony for Student Stuck on Delayed Subway

If you’ve ridden any New York subway lately, chances are good that you’ve been held momentarily by a station’s dispatcher; trudged to another stop to grab a different line because your train stopped running altogether; or watched your cell-phone clock tick while seated on an unmoving, delayed train. (If you feel like your commute has gotten worse and worse in recent weeks, you’re not alone.) Jerich Marco Alcantara knows that last feeling better than anyone. He missed his college-graduation ceremony at Radio City Music Hall on Tuesday, thanks to a delay on the E train. Dressed in full regalia, Alcantara was set to receive a degree from the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing. And thanks to some friends and strangers on the train that day, he did. Sort of. A friend presented Alcantara with a “diploma” via a cell phone, while somebody else on the train blasted “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Green Day. Another passenger filmed the makeshift ceremony and posted the video to Facebook.

“If you want a copy of my diploma, turn on your Airdrop,” Alcantara says in the video, followed by a muffled explanation for a few confused passengers about how Airdrop works. In the video’s comments, Alcantara’s girlfriend explained that they left early — two hours — to get to the ceremony on time. Alcantara also weighed in, saying the emergency brakes went off on the train, and they wound up waiting several hours before a rescue train could get them. (Select All has reached out to Alcantara and will update this post if we hear back.)

Riders Stage Subway Graduation for Student on Delayed Train