Island University Graduate Pulls off Surprise Marriage Proposal at Summer Commencement

Published: August 14, 2015

Island University Graduate Pulls off Surprise Marriage Proposal at Summer Commencement

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Phillip Quintanilla got the diploma – and the girl. The College of Nursing and Health Sciences graduate, who walked the staged of the American Bank Center during the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi summer commencement on August 8, proposed to the love of his life, Sheridan Brandt, outside of the center, just minutes after receiving his diploma.

“I started planning the proposal at the beginning of this year,” he said. “My original idea was to make the announcement in front of the entire graduating class, but once I realized that only faculty spoke during the ceremony, I had to hatch a new plan.”

Quintanilla was able to enlist the help of his fellow CONHS graduates to make the five neon signs he used to propose. Part of Quintanilla’s excitement through this process was keeping it all a big secret.

“Sheridan had no idea I was going to propose,” said Quintanilla. “Whenever she brought up marriage, I always told her it was too early to think about it. I told her mom two days before I did it, and didn’t tell any other family or friends.”

The couple, who has been dating for more than three years, hasn’t set a wedding date yet. As for the long-term future, Quintanilla looks forward to applying Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, while Brandt plans to pursue a career in physical therapy.

“We would like to travel,” said Quintanilla. “I may even go back to school for a master’s degree. I know someday she will want children. I want to give her everything, and more.”