This year Spectrum is hosting a Lavender Graduation event for graduating students who are members of the LGBTQ+ community and their guests. Spectrum is hosting the event for the second time after a 20 year hiatus of the celebration.
The Lavender Graduation intends to celebrate the achievements of the LGBTQ+ community and honor graduates with a rainbow stole to wear at USD’s graduation.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, the Lavender Graduation Ceremony was created in 1995 by Dr. Ronni Sanlo after being unable to attend the graduations of her children because of her sexual orientation. The first ceremony was held at the University of Michigan with three graduates and by 2001 there were over 45 ceremonies at colleges and universities nationwide.
President of Spectrum, Zadya Abbott, said this is not a replacement graduation necessarily, but it is an additional space for students to be recognized specifically for who they are and what they have accomplished.
“What we do is recognize the struggles and celebrate the success of the students in an environment that is very much so supportive of who they are,” Abbott said.
The event will be held April 29 at noon in the MUC Ballroom with special guest speakers. Students can sign up for the Lavender Graduation by reaching out to [email protected].