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Lavender Grad Celebration

What is Lavender Graduation?

Lavender Graduation is an annual ceremony conducted on numerous campuses to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and ally students and to acknowledge their achievements and contributions to the University.  The first Lavender Graduation began at the University of Michigan in 1995, with three graduates.  By 2001, there were over 45 Lavender Graduation Ceremonies at Colleges and Universities nationwide.  Graduating students, including undergraduates and graduates, are invited to take part in the celebration, which occurs each year the week prior to university-wide commencement events.

Details of This Year's Celebration

The 16th Annual Lavender Graduation Celebration will take place Thursday, June 5, 2014 from 6:00pm-8:00pm at the Bronco Student Center, Ursa Major AB. All interested graduates must register by Friday, April 18, 2014.    Participants receive a commemorative lavender sash, rainbow tassel, program booklet, and reception for family and friends.  There is a $20 registration fee for each graduate.  However, no one will be turned away for lack of funds.  If this fee is a hardship, contact Jami Grosser, Pride Center Coordinator, at jrgrosser@csupomona.edu or (909) 869-3064.  Contact the Pride Center at (909) 869-2573 for more information.  Click HERE to register.

Why a Lavender Graduation Celebration?

For decades students at colleges and universities around the country have been celebrating both their academic achievements and their cultural heritages at specialized commencement events. Many of these events are student-initiated and usually occur during the university-wide commencement weekend. These events provide a sense of community for minority students who often experience tremendous culture shock at their impersonalized institutions. For many students they are the payoff for staying in school, and friends and families find the smaller, more ethnic ceremonies both meaningful and personal.Lavender Graduation is a cultural celebration that recognizes LGBT students of all races and ethnicities and acknowledges their achievements and contributions to the university as students who survived the college experience. Through such recognition LGBT students may leave the university with a positive last experience of the institution thereby encouraging them to become involved mentors for current students as well as financially contributing alumni.

Lavender Graduation is an event to which LGBT students look forward, where they not only share their hopes and dreams with one another, but where they are officially recognized by the institution for their leadership and their successes and achievements.

The Significance of "Lavender"

Lavender is important to LGBT history.  It is a combination of the pink triange that gay men were forced to wear in concentration camps and the black triange designating lesbians as political prisoners in Nazi Germany.  The LGBT civil rights movement took these symbols of hatred and combined them to make symbols and color of pride and community.

The Pride Center encourages all students to participate in our programs and utilize our services.