Courtesy of SAM MILLER
As School of Public Affairs graduate Sarah Cooper walked across the stage May 13, she got more than just a diploma.
In the middle of the ceremony, School of Communication graduate and her boyfriend of four years, Sam Miller, jumped on stage, got down on one knee and proposed.
Cooper said yes.
“I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Sarah about three months into our relationship,” said Miller in an email, “One day I looked at her and saw not only a girlfriend, but a best friend, wife and mother.”
However, the couple’s parents strongly encouraged them to wait until after college to commit to marry each other, Miller said.
“I chose to propose on stage because I don’t want to wait another minute for her to be my fiancé,” Miller said.
Cooper and Miller met during Welcome Week of their freshman year while participating in Discover D.C., a freshman orientation program. Miller said he was drawn to Cooper as soon as he saw her. After no luck getting her to notice him, he plucked a small pink flower from a bush and put it in her hair while they were talking.
“That must have gotten her attention because within a week we went on our first date to Georgetown Cupcake,” Miller said. “That led to a second date and the rest is history.”
Those who attended the graduation seemed to be moved and excited to have witnessed the event.
“I thought it was really brave of him to do it in front of so many people, but that in itself spoke a lot about how certain he was about their relationship and also about how much he seems to love her,” AU graduate Megan Simpson said in an email.
Fellow graduate, Eva Facundo agreed. “It was really unexpected and sweet, and at the time I was really shocked,” Facundo said in an email. “I know Sam and Sarah personally so it makes me happy for them. Looking back, I feel a special bond now with them since my memory of my graduation is tied to their engagement.”
Miller and Cooper plan to start their lives together in the District. Miller has accepted a position as a communications assistant at the public relations firm Tigercomm and Cooper is looking for a teaching position.
Don’t forget to check out our Storify on the proposal!