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Love is in the Air: UA Little Rock Couple Gets Engaged at Fall 2022 Commencement

Tobaquious Howard and Kenya Daniels get engaged at the Fall 2022 Commencement at UA Little Rock on Dec. 17.
Tobaquious Howard and Kenya Daniels get engaged at the Fall 2022 Commencement at UA Little Rock on Dec. 17.

Commencement is a time when new college graduates celebrate with their loved ones and look to the future as they start the next chapter of their lives.

One UA Little Rock graduate celebrated another milestone in life by popping the question to his high school sweetheart and fellow UA Little Rock student – who, of course, said yes!

Tobaquious Howard, the graduate from Eudora, Arkansas, said he has been planning to propose to his fiancé Kenya Daniels, a senior finance major from McAlmont, for a whole year.

“I was talking to my friends at school, and I said that graduation would be a great place to propose because my family would be here and her family would be here, so it all worked out,” he said.

Howard invited many family members and high school and college friends to commencement to celebrate his graduation with a Bachelor of Business Administration and Associate of Arts in General Studies degrees. After the ceremony, the large group of family and friends gathered outside for a group picture, which is when Howard made his move.

“I told everyone to get in a group picture,” he said. “She was turned away from me, and I got on one knee so when she turned around she saw me proposing. Everybody knew except for her. We had it all planned out!”

Daniels was absolutely thrilled as she got to spend the moment surrounded by her family – her mom, dad, grandmother, sisters, and niece.

“I was shocked,” Daniels said. “I did not expect a lot of our family to be there. I was nervous and shocked and excited.”

The couple met during a football game at Jacksonville High School when Daniels was an eighth grader and Howard a freshman. Their love story blossomed during high school to the point where they decided to attend the University of Arkansas at Little Rock together.

“We wanted to stay in Arkansas, and we had heard a lot of good things about UA Little Rock,” Howard said. “It was an easy decision for us to come to UA Little Rock.”

While the couple enjoyed attending college together, the one drawback was that they had to separate in order to study because “we have completely different study habits,” Daniels said.

“We couldn’t be around each other because we would distract each other,” Howard added.

Looking back, Daniels, who is a business student ambassador and Student Affairs Diversity Initiatives mentor, realizes there were hints – lots of family visiting, everyone dressing up, her family’s insistence that she get her nails done – that something special was going to happen on Saturday in addition to commencement. They celebrated Howard’s commencement and their engagement with a large dinner outing to Longhorn Steakhouse.

Now that they are engaged, the couple said that they have recently moved into their first apartment and are looking forward to spending more time together now that Howard’s schooling is finished.

While they haven’t set a date for their wedding yet, Daniels, who will graduate from UA Little Rock in May, said she “would definitely like a fall or winter wedding for sure.”