Maine Student Leaves Girlfriend Speechless After Proposing at Graduation Ceremony

Courtesy Rachel Rice/University of Maine at Presque Isle(PRESQUE ISLE, Maine) -- Graduation ceremonies can sometimes drag on and on as students in oversized gowns and tightly fitting caps tap their legs in anticipation of the event's end.

But that was not the case at University of Maine at Presque Isle’s 107th commencement ceremony on Saturday after the school allowed a graduating student to pop the question to his girlfriend of a year and a half.

"They were a little hesitant because it was last minute," Physical Education senior Timothy Babine told ABC News. "And they said, 'Are you sure she is going to say yes?' and I said, 'I sure hope so.'"

Babine said he was sure, however, that Fine Arts junior Hayley Hamilton was the one for him. "I've never felt so comfortable expressing the way I feel being around her," Babine said. "She just makes me who I am, and she makes me a better person."

The plan was set in motion. "I would now like to call graduate Timothy Babine up to the platform," university president Linda Schott tells the packed auditorium in a video of the special moment. "He has a special announcement to share with the graduating class."

Hamilton had no idea what was coming. "He told me that he was supposed to make a goodbye speech," she told ABC News.

Babine started off by congratulating the class of 2016 before switching gears. "There is an actual special someone here that I want to do something important with...." he says in the video.

Babine then strolled all the way to the back of the room where Hamilton was sitting, pulled a ring from his pocket and, like a true gentleman, got down on one knee.

"I couldn't breathe," Hamilton said with a laugh. "I had to nod my head instead of speak."

The crowd cheered.

"I wasn't able to breathe until I got out of the [gymnasium] when everything was done with," Hamilton added, "and I ended [up] crying and trying to catch my breath at the same because my anxiety kicked in."

The couple said they will continue to focus on their education before getting married.

Babine is heading to grad school in West Virginia, where he'll study exercise science, while Hamilton is transferring to a new school in New Hampshire to pursue media studies.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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