Lavender Graduation is an annual ceremony conducted on numerous campuses to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and asexual & aromantic students and to acknowledge their achievements and contributions to the university. Dr. Ronni Sanlo created the Lavender Graduation Ceremony at the University of Michigan in 1995. The annual ceremony was created to recognize LGBTQ+ students and acknowledge their achievements and contributions to the university.
Lavender Graduation has occurred annually at NC State since the formation of the LGBTQ Pride Center in 2008, the first ceremony was held in the spring of that year. #LavGrad23 marks the 14th Lavender Graduation at NC State.
Lavender Graduation 2023 will take place on Wednesday, April 19, 2023
Graduates must RSVP before Friday, April 14 to be recognized at the ceremony. See below for RSVP and award nomination forms.
Are you interested in being a part of this year’s festivities?
Who: LGBTQIAP+ graduates with their friends, families, and supporters across NC State
What: Celebrating the hard work that comes from moving through college as an LGBTQ+ person
When: Wednesday, April 19, 2023 | 6 – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Talley Student Union’s Coastal Ballroom
Know someone who deserves to be recognized for their work with the LGBTQ+ community?
Three awards are given out annually at Lavender Graduation. You are encouraged to nominate yourself or someone else you believe embodies the spirit of each award.
Stafford Leadership Award
The Thomas H. Stafford Leadership Award recognizes an undergraduate or graduate student who has demonstrated service to the LGBTQ+ community through peer education, peer mentoring, community building, and/or community outreach or service.
Reiman Student Advocacy Award
The Evelyn Q. Reiman Activism Award recognizes an undergraduate or graduate student who has worked to increase awareness about social justice issues, identify strategies for enacting change, engage peers in social justice activism, and/or foster collaboration across communities in order to address campus or community climate concerns.
Spitz Community Advocacy Award
The Bill Spitz Leadership Award recognizes an NC State community member who has demonstrated service to the LGBTQ+ community through peer education, student mentoring, community building, and/or community outreach or service.
*Community members include undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, and other non-campus affiliated members of the triangle area.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should fill out the RSVP form?
Everyone who plans to attend Lavender Graduation should fill out an RSVP form, including: graduating students, non-graduating students, friends and family of graduates, and all other community members. This helps us make sure our catering order is correct, and it helps us stay within the room capacity for our space – a fire and covid safety measure.
What are the event’s covid policies?
Lavender Graduation will follow the guidelines set out by the university for covid-19 safety measures. You can find the most up to date version of that information at our Protect the Pack webpage.
We are also encouraging our guests to practice consent and community care: stating your own comfort level with being masked and social distancing as well as checking in with others. Healthy boundary setting, mutual respect, and consent are values we live out in all Pride Center spaces, Lavender Graduation included.
Can non-graduating students still attend?
Yes! In addition to Winter 2023 Graduates being eligible to graduate with us this year, non-graduating students are welcomed to attend in support of their friends. Non-graduating students should fill out the RSVP form (scroll up on this webpage to find it) and select the appropriate attendee option.
Can non-graduating students be nominated for an award?
Yes! There are no academic year, graduating year, or gpa requirements to be nominated for an award. Non-graduating students do exceptional work in the LGBTQ+ community and we would love to recognize them. Nominees can scroll up on this webpage to see more information about the three awards being given at Lavender Graduation and find the nomination link.
Will this year’s Lavender Graduation be live-streamed?
No. In order to best preserve the privacy of our graduating students names and pronouns, the event will only occur in-person. Some Lavender Graduates may not be ‘out’ in all spaces, and live-streaming the ceremony puts us at a greater risk for potentially outing students than we feel comfortable with at this time.
We will have an in house photographer taking pictures of our graduates that will be available for free after the event, and graduates are welcome to have a friend record their procession to the stage to receive their degree.
Will my name, pronouns, or other information be published anywhere?
For Graduates: Your first and last name, alongside your major, will be printed on the Lavender Graduation program, which is given to all attendees. Your name, photo, and senior quote will also display on a slideshow during select parts of the event. This information will not be published outside the Lavender Graduation space, however it is not considered confidential. Please contact the Pride Center at email@example.com if you are concerned about being outed through your Lavender Graduation participation.
For All Other Attendees: Our guest list is not published anywhere. Your name, pronouns, and other identifying information will not be shared outside the Pride Center Staff planning team, however it is not considered confidential. Please contact the Pride Center at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are concerned about being outed through your Lavender Graduation participation.
Photography: All graduates will receive a photo of themselves with their new diploma; this photo is taken one on one with a staff photographer at the event. These photos will not be shared with anyone other than the graduate. Staff photographers may take additional images at the event, but will always ask permission before taking a picture that includes faces or distinct features of an individual. Individual, personal photography is permitted, and we encourage consent, permission, and community care when using a personal camera or recording device that could capture other attendees information.