Most college graduates are content to walk away with a degree after four years of study and socializing. Sam Miller is not like most college graduates.
On Sunday morning, at American University's commencement ceremony, Miller, a public communications and psychology double major from South Bend, Indiana, asked his girlfriend and fellow graduate, Sarah Cooper, to marry him.
Miller and Cooper met just before their first week of school, as he remembers it.
"We wound up in the same Discover DC group at AU," Miller wrote in an email. "Our first meeting started out a little shaky: I tried to break the ice, but I didn't quite get her attention at first. So, I plucked a small pink flower from a nearby bush and put it in her hair during one of our conversations. That must have gotten her attention because within a week we went out on our first date to Georgetown Cupcake. That led to a second date and the rest is history.
"I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Sarah about three months into our relationship," Miller's email continued. "One day I looked at her and saw not only a girlfriend, but a best friend, wife and mother. As our families grew closer and our relationship more serious, both sides strongly suggested that we wait until after we receive our diplomas to get engaged. That being said, I chose to propose on stage at her graduation because I don’t want to wait another minute for her to be my fiancee."
Any wedding plans may have to be put on hold for a few days: Cooper, a native of Marlboro, New Jersey who majored in Justice, Law, and Society and received a secondary teaching degree, is described as a New Jersey Devils "absolute fanatic." Her team begins its NHL Eastern Conference Final series against the New York Rangers Monday night.
Miller, for his part, has already accepted a job as a communications assistant at the Tigercomm public relations firm. Cooper is still looking for a teaching job in the D.C. area.