Marriage Proposal at NSU’s First-ever Live Commencement Webcast

Marriage Proposal at NSU CommencementFORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – This past weekend at Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) commencement ceremony, degrees were not the only highlights on stage. James Neilen, Pharm.D., who was being hooded at the ceremony by his girlfriend Ally Courson, turned around, got down on one knee and proposed marriage. Courson accepted, and the crowd broke out into thunderous applause and cheers.

You can watch the video – which has been viewed more than 1,000 times in the first day it was live – of the on-stage proposal on YouTube here:

The 2013 commencement season marks the first time in NSU’s nearly 50-year history that the university has webcast all of its six commencement ceremonies live online for friends and family of graduates who were unable to attend in-person to watch the ceremony remotely. It also marks the first time a graduate has proposed on stage during a commencement ceremony.

A total of 388 people watched the May 18 ceremony online and viewers hailed from 20 different countries and territories, and 136 cities globally. Further demonstrating the power of technology, mobile phones accounted for 35% of the web traffic and tablets accounted for 11%, while personal computers and laptops accounted for 54%.

The May 19 commencement ceremony included more than 700 graduates from the Colleges of Health Care Sciences, Dental Medicine, Medical Sciences, Optometry, Osteopathic Medicine, and Pharmacy. Health Professions Division students and faculty conduct cutting-edge research in human stem cells, cancer, heart disease, AIDS/HIV and neuro-immune disorders, including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Gulf War Syndome.

Ursula Bauer, Ph.D, M.P.H., director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, was the keynote speaker. In her role Dr. Bauer, sets the strategic direction for the center’s “Winnable Battles” of tobacco use prevention, improved nutrition and physical activity and prevention of teen and unintended pregnancy, as well as key priorities related to the leading causes of death.

For more information about NSU, visit:

About Nova Southeastern University

Situated on 300 beautiful acres in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic fully accredited research institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs at all levels.  NSU is a not-for-profit independent institution with more than 28,000 students. NSU awards associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, doctoral and first-professional degrees in a wide range of fields. NSU is classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and it’s one of only 37 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar