University of Portsmouth students get engaged during graduation celebrations

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A University of Portsmouth student has ticked off two milestones in one day, by getting engaged during her graduation celebrations

  • 18 July 2022
  • 7 min read

A University of Portsmouth student has ticked off two milestones in one day, by getting engaged during her graduation celebrations.

Deborah Kabongo, 24, was proposed to by her boyfriend Doyinsola Moses Akintioye, 27, during the festivities in Ravelin Park on Friday afternoon (July 15).

The happy couple met on campus nine years ago and have been dating for almost three years.

Deborah, who was celebrating receiving her degree in BSc (Hons) Social Work, said she wasn’t expecting Doyinsola to pop the question: “I was definitely surprised, as I didn't think it would happen this year because he had been hinting subliminally for a long time that it may be next year.

“I was also a bit confused at how he managed to plan the whole thing without me knowing, especially with the fact that I'm always on his phone!”

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Credit: Catherine Nugent, University of Portsmouth

Doyinsola, who is originally from Wales, came to Portsmouth to study Petroleum Engineering at the University and that’s when the happy couple were first introduced.

“We met in one of the University’s faith led societies, International Fellowship of Christian Students”, explained Doyinsola.

“She was one of the first people I met as soon as I moved here.”

Doyinsola graduated in 2018 and went on to complete a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Project Management in 2021.

As Portsmouth was where we met it felt symbolic and poetic to also get engaged there

Doyinsola Moses Akintioye, University of Portsmouth graduate

He said he wanted to make Deborah’s big day extra special: “I chose the graduation as it was a moment where there would be very little suspicion and that I knew everyone would dress up, including the bride-to-be, with minimum interrogations from friends and family who were invited along.

“Also, as Portsmouth was where we met it felt symbolic and poetic to also get engaged there.”

The proposal was captured by the couple’s friend Damilola Adekanmbi.

Thousands of University of Portsmouth students are graduating this month, including those who missed out over the last two years because of the pandemic.

Information on the ceremonies taking place is available here.

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