By Lesley Henton, Texas A&M University Marketing & Communications
Elaborate decorations on the tops of graduation caps continue to be a popular trend, but one in particular caught the attention of thousands gathered at Texas A&M University’s summer commencement ceremony this morning.
When Tyler, Texas native Jonathan Cox followed his fellow Aggies to their seats on the floor of Reed Arena, a video camera that feeds the massive screens hanging from the ceiling captured his message, and when the audience read the words “Taylor Marry Me?” they erupted in cheers and applause.
Cox, 22, who received a bachelor’s degree in English, decided to take the opportunity to publicly announce his engagement to his girlfriend Taylor Hepburn, who graduated from Texas A&M in May with a bachelor’s in Child Professional Services.
Hepburn, 22, a native of Melissa, Texas, had already said “yes” earlier when Cox proposed at sunrise on Lake Bryan. Both avid kayakers, Cox lured her to the lake under the guise of an early morning adventure. She later said the proposal was “a total shock.”
So although she knew going in to graduation that they were engaged, she said the cap also was a complete surprise. “When they showed him on the big screen, the crowd started buzzing and trying to figure out who he was asking, and it was me!”
Hepburn was sitting in the stands with Cox’s family and her own. She said, “They knew it was going to happen so they were eager to see my reaction.”