BOCA RATON (CBSMiami) – It was supposed to be a big day in the life of Ripu Kunwar. He was set to graduate with his PHD in geoscience from Florida Atlantic University.
His family flew in from the northeast to help him celebrate.
But just minutes before graduation was set to begin his phone received an alert from FAU that the commencement ceremony was cancelled due a credible threat.
“I’m a little bit frustrated but not too much,” Kunwar told CBS4 News.
Kunwar says he wanted to walk across the stage for his family and for himself but he understands the school’s decision. So does graduate Tecya Johnson.
“I am definitely grateful that FAU took the necessary precautions because if they didn’t, who knew what would really happen?” Johnson said.
The school is not saying much about the threat except that an employee discovered a handwritten note in a women’s bathroom in the College of Business and they made the choice to evacuate that building and cancel the ceremony in the Student Union.
“It was a threat specific to our graduation and at that point in time we made a decision to cancel our graduation,” said Police Chief Sean Brammer.
School president John Kelly said the decision was easy to make — safety is the priority. But he understands the disappointment that students and their families must feel.
“I feel terrible for our students,” Kelly said. “They were denied an opportunity that was a crowning achievement ceremony in life and we’ll make amends for in some way for those students.”
Ripu Kunwar hopes they can reschedule the ceremony soon.
“Hopefully this will be on tomorrow and then again we’ll take part over there,” he said.
FAU says they do not yet have plans to reschedule the graduation for these 462 students but they will every effort to recognize these students.
Police are looking at surveillance video from the campus to try and figure out who made the threat.
They said they hope to make an arrest and file criminal charges in this case.