Northwestern Grad Proposes During Ceremony

“There is a man who knows how to take risks,” Dean Julio Ottino said in the video

Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014  |  Updated 3:53 PM CDT
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A graduate at Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering proposed to his girlfriend during the PhD hooding ceremony Friday. (Courtesy: McCormick School of Engineering)

A graduate at Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering proposed to his girlfriend during the PhD hooding ceremony Friday. (Courtesy: McCormick School of Engineering)

One engineering graduate decided to make an honorable day at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering a little more special.

Bin Liu, a material science and engineering PhD graduate, took the stage for the PhD hooding ceremony at Northwestern University Friday, but before he returned to his seat, Liu proposed to his girlfriend Jie Han.

The proposal itself was rather spontaneous for Liu, who came up with the plan the night before the ceremony and put it together just minutes before he took the stage.

“No one else knew I would do that,” Liu told NBC Chicago. “It was absolutely a surprise to everyone.”

Liu had been planning to propose for months, but wasn’t exactly sure how until the couple decided to attend the hooding ceremony after missing their graduation.

The school posted a video to YouTube showing Liu walking to the edge of the stage as a video sign reads “Jie Han, Will You Marry Me?”

Liu dropped to one knee as Han, who also graduated from the school with a master’s degree in materials science and engineering, approached the ledge and accepted the offer.

“I was really surprised, she was kind of speechless,” Liu said. “Then someone shouted ‘Say yes,’ and she said yes. At the moment she was kind of crying.”

The happy couple then shared a quick embrace before Liu bowed and the audience erupted with applause.

“There is a man who knows how to take risks,” Dean Julio Ottino said in the video.

Liu said the couple hopes to get married as soon as possible and said he was glad he was able to propose at the event.

“I feel really grateful that I have my girlfriend to be my fiancé and have all my friends and my professors and all the people there to witness our proposal engagement,” he said. “I’m a lucky guy.”

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