Marriage Proposal at Southampton University Graduation Ceremony


At today’s graduation ceremony for the faculty of Business and Law, proceedings took an unexpected turn when one graduating student was invited back onto the stage at the conclusion of the ceremony.

After making a brief speech, Shiyi ‘Ian’ Ying, an International Marketing graduand, invited his partner of two years, Yu Yen ‘Chloe’ Ou, a graduate of MSc International Financial Markets, onto the stage also – introducing her by describing her reactions to how they met.

Mr Ying before he proposed (photo, University of Southampton)

Following a speech which described Southampton as a ‘magical place’ Mr Ying continued,

When we first met she said I have a very strange looking face. But here we are, dating almost two years [sic]. We lived together, started together, and both have got our degrees….I know you are the only one, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you, because I love you

He then went down on one knee and proposed.

Thankfully, she said yes!

Vice-Chancellor, Don Nutbeam congratulated the couple, and said ‘he had no idea how to follow that‘. Adding, he’d be ‘doing graduation ceremonies for 25 years, and never seen anything like that’.

Photo (University of Southampton)

Union President, Ben Franklin, who witnessed the proposal said:

The atmosphere in the room was incredible. It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen and I’m so happy for them both. We at SUSU wish them all the best!

The proposal was arranged by the exams and graduations team who Mr. Ying had contacted in advance.

The video of the proposal is here (starts at 32:00).

All photos courtesy of University of Southampton Communications.


Editor 2015-16. Politics Editor 2014-15. Third year Politics and Economics student, I've written for every section but primarily write politics, opinion and news pieces. I also write for The Edge, Kettle Mag, The National Student, The Student Times and the Independent and do lots of work with Surge Radio.

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