MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Middlebury’s inaugural Lavender Graduation will be held on Wednesday, May 11, at 6 p.m., in Wilson Hall in the McCullough Student Center.
Colleges and universities across the nation hold Lavender Graduations to honor the achievements of graduating LGBTQIA+ students. “We are delighted to bring this tradition to Middlebury this year,” said Janae Due, assistant director of the College’s Anderson Freeman Resource Center.
Due said the Lavender Graduation ceremonies are integral to the college experience for LGBTQIA+ students because many of them have excelled academically despite a lack of familial support and often while navigating institutional spaces that do not always feel affirming or inclusive. “This ceremony allows us to honor and affirm LGBTQIA+ students’ hard work, dedication, and drive,” she said.
The ceremony is open to all graduating LGBTQIA+ students—whether or not they have been involved in LGBTQIA+ student organizations or with the broader LGBTQIA+ community.
Lavender Graduation or LavGrad was started in 1995 by Ronni Sanlo, who was then director of the University of Michigan’s Spectrum Center, to celebrate LGBTQIA+ students and their academic achievements and contributions to the college.
Middlebury’s inaugural Lavender Graduation ceremony will recognize and celebrate the experience of graduating LGBTQIA+ students who will soon be alumni. “The event is intended to be a reclamation of Middlebury as their own—a final ode to their perseverance, achievements, and explorations as LGBTQIA+ Middlebury students,” said Due.
Please send questions to Janae Due, assistant director of the Anderson Freeman Resource Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org.