Kayla Foust of Fulton walked through the Westminster columns with a degree and engagement ring on Saturday.
Before Foust and her boyfriend of five years, Joe Garwood of New Bloomfield, finished their ceremonious walk through the columns, Garwood dropped on one knee and proposed to Foust.
The couple first met at Fulton High School when they took the ACT test. Garwood sat behind Foust and said his first impression of her was her thick, curly hair.
"I thought he was really cute," Foust said, thinking about their first interaction.
The two struck up a relationship and decided to attend Westminster.
Four years ago the young couple walked through the columns together to start their college careers, and Garwood chose the Westminster landmark to help signify the next chapter in their lives.
"I wanted to walk out into the real world with her by my side as my fiancÃ©," Garwood said.
Tears filled Foust's eyes as she said "yes" and greeted friends and family with hugs. The feeling from that moment, she said, made her feel "on top of the world."
The new ring on Foust's left hand was originally her mother's 25th anniversary ring.
The day - with the combination of graduation and an engagement - was emotional for Foust's mother, Connie Foust of Fulton, who was diagnosed with cancer a year ago.
"It's just special because I'm here and I get to enjoy it," Connie Foust said with tears in her eyes.
The future Mr. and Mrs. Garwood recently purchased a home and will soon start their careers.
Joe Garwood will join the Community Health Center of Central Missouri as an operational specialist. Kayla Foust, a graduate with a degree in early childhood education and elementary education, will be a kindergarten teacher at Bush Elementary.