Boyfriendcritised for proposing in the middle of graduation ceremony

Cute or controlling? Boyfriend who proposed to his childhood sweetheart during HER graduation ceremony is blasted for ‘hijacking’ her big moment (along the university who tweeted it)

  • Edgaras Averbuchas, 27, proposed to girlfriend Agne Banuskeviciute in Essex
  • Is under fire for popping question right in the middle of graduation ceremony
  • Feminist campaigners said he’d made the day about his own ego  
  • Agne, 25, said she was delighted with the proposal and doesn’t agree with critics

A boyfriend has been accused of hijacking his partner’s big day after he got on one knee during her graduation ceremony,

Edgaras Averbuchas, 27, got onstage and proposed to girlfriend Agne Banuskeviciute last week, in the middle of the event at the University of Essex in Colchester.  

People online, and feminists especially were not pleased with the gesture, which was captured in a video and shared by the University in a now deleted tweet. They argued he should have let her ‘have her moment.’ 

Agne, 25, looked shocked as her childhood sweetheart came up to join her on the stage.

But the young graduate’s emotion turned to joy when her partner, 27, dropped to one knee and popped the question.

Agne said she was delighted with the proposal and added she didn’t understand the criticism that ensued 

People on Twitter said Edgaras stole Agne’s moment by make her graduation ceremony all about him 

However, the moment divided opinion after Edgaras was accused of stealing her thunder.

Overjoyed Agne has hit back at critics and revealed she is over the moon about the very public proposal in front of hundreds of students, lecturers and proud parents.

Aisha Ali-Khan, a core organiser of the Women’s March in London, slammed the video in a blog.

She wrote: ‘Public declarations of love smack of egotism and a need for the party making the fuss to be acknowledged and given a round of applause (exactly what happened here).

‘This does not bode well for the relationship.

‘When someone craves such public attention and adulation all the time, there can only be space for one person and their ego in that relationship,’ she went on. 

Agne received her diploma and shook the Dean’s hand before Edgaras came up on stage and popped the question 

Writer Rebecca Reid criticised the public nature of the proposal in an article for Grazia magazine.

She wrote: ‘The chances are that this couple are very much in love, and that she was delighted with the proposal.

‘But what was she supposed to do if she’d wanted to say no? Break his heart in front of an entire auditorium full of strangers?

‘Hijacking a big moment with something sweet or well intentioned doesn’t make it okay. Just because something is sweet or well intended doesn’t mean that it is appropriate.’

The young woman, diploma in hand, was visibly shocked as her childhood sweetheart started speaking 

Edgaras then got down on one knee and proposed, and Agne happily accepted to the sound of claps and cheers from members of the university’s faculty 

Meanwhile Dr Jana Bacevic, of the University of Cambridge, tweeted: ‘Imagine being a man and feeling so threatened by a woman’s intellectual success that you *have* to force her to frame her identity/agency in relation to *you* on the very day she is being celebrated for her intellect.

‘Oh wait, that’s, like, 99.9 percent men.’

Sara Jayne Atkinson fumed: ‘Hijacked her graduation. Years of hard work and now we’re all supposed to be pleased for her.

Online, the video divided opinions, with many noting that the young man should have picked another time to make his proposal 

‘Not because of her achievement, but because she got her man. Bad form.”

The couple have been dating for nine years after meeting as teenagers in secondary school.

Agne has since said she was delighted by the proposal, and is baffled by the backlash. 

She said: ‘I remember myself standing on the stage. I was a little bit nervous, but extremely happy.

‘Then, all of a sudden I saw Edgaras coming, but everything happened so quickly that it took me some time to understand what actually happened.

Agne beamed as Edgaras put the engagement ring on her finger in front of the assembly (pictured)  

‘He knelt on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was in so much shock and of course I said yes.

‘Everyone cheered and it was an amazing proposal which truly took me by surprise.

‘Well, I knew something was up but didn’t have a clue.’

Agne had just finished studying a Masters degree in English Language and Applied Linguistics on the Colchester campus, of the University of Essex.

What a day: Agne got her degree and a surprise engagement on the same day and said it made the moment more special 

On Twitter, the university deleted a tweet sharing the video after people accused Edgaras of ruining her moment of celebration.

But Agne revealed that she was overjoyed by the public proposal – adding that it made her day of celebration even better.

She said: ‘That’s so strange that Edgaras was getting a lot of criticism from people.

‘Well, I think that this day became even more beautiful with this proposal.’


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