Out-of-state FAU graduates celebrate hard work at make-up commencement ceremony

BOCA RATON, FLA. (WSVN) - Several Florida Atlantic University graduates were finally able to walk during graduation after their initial ceremony was evacuated due to a troubling threat.

The FAU commencement ceremony that had been scheduled for Tuesday was abruptly cancelled after officials found a credible threat in the bathroom.

“My family was super excited. I was so happy, and then when it was taken away, I was so devastated,” said FAU grad Natasha Tamkij. “I was crying”

Two days later, officials stepped up security for the international and out-of-state student graduation. It was all to make sure everyone was safe.

Graduates, family, friends and even the 7News crew responding to the scene had to walk through metal detectors. Those who spoke with us said these measures helped them feel safe, and they weren’t going to let it ruin this lifetime achievement.

“As long as my family is safe, and we were good, better to be safe than sorry,” Tamkij said.

The last-minute ceremony was put in place quickly.

Graduates, including 81-year-old Nicoletta Soric, said that despite the seriousness of the situation, they are ready to move forward

“I’ve been through World War II, I got married, had children, I don’t have any more threats in my life,” Soric said.

Now the small class of grateful graduates said they’re thankful their loved ones got to see them walk with a degree.

“I’m happy for everything today, very blessed we’re all here safe, and I got to walk,” Tamkij said. “It’s not a normal graduation, but hey, I’ll take it.”

All remaining students who were affected by Tuesday’s evacuation can participate in a graduation ceremony next week. Those who are unable to attend that ceremony can attend a ceremony in December.

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