CRANFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The student speaker at the Union County College commencement ceremony had quite the surprise in store for his girlfriend.

In front of 1,000 fellow graduates and their loved ones, 29-year-old Sean Williams decided to pop the big question to his girlfriend Joana Costa, 22.

“When I was notified that I was going to be speaking in front of over 1,000 people I was extremely nervous,” Williams told 1010 WINS. “But once I decided to propose to my girlfriend, I was only nervous about one of those people.”

Williams proposed mid-way through his speech.

“The world is ours and it was this college that made it possible. So, in honor of priceless moments, and once in a lifetime opportunities, and in the spirit of reckless passion, Joana Costa, will you marry me?” Williams said.

Watch the proposal:

The room immediately burst out in cheers and applause.

Williams left the podium, ran to Costa and dropped to one knee.

After overcoming tears, Costa screamed her answer: yes.

“There was an overflow of happiness and tears were the only way I could handle what was going on, it was beautiful,” Costa said.

The couple met last year when he was her tutor for an English class.

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