Congratulations to all of this year’s Lavender Graduates!
The Lavender Graduation ceremony highlighted the many achievements of the graduating class of 2016, while honoring the history of the LGBTQIA+ community.
“To me, it (Lavender Graduation) means progress because, as Dr. Camilla said, 40 years ago that this wouldn’t have been possible and 40 years from now our kids are going to be the ones telling us we aren’t progressive enough and I can’t wait to see that change,” Jez Wood, a graduating elementary education major, said. “It was great. I felt very safe, which is very important, and I felt loved.”
A surprise dance performance was given by the Khalima and Laterna Dance Company, followed by Dr. Camilla Buchanan’s keynote speech.
“If I can’t change the world, I’ll change the world within my reach.” Buchanan said, quoting Catie Curtis, and then charged the audience with the following:
“I congratulate you on your graduation and I am passing, to you, the baton from my generation to your generation to work for social justice, a justice that knows no distinction for sexual gender or orientation, or ethnicity, or race, or religion, or social class or disability. I trust that when you leave VCU, you will be fired with determination to change the world within your reach, helping to make 21st century America a place we all dream of, a place of well being, inclusion and justice for all.”
A big thank you to the Lavender Graduation committee, sponsors and allied partners for their continued involvement and support throughout the planning process.
- Amendment Literary and Art Journal
- Division of Student Affairs
- Equality VCU
- LGBTQ Initiatives, Division of Inclusive Excellence
- Office of Multicultural Student Affairs
- Office of the VP for Health Sciences
- Residential Life and Housing
- University Counseling Services
- University Student Commons and Activities
- The Well
- VCU Alumni
- VCU Libraries
- Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies
- Office of the Provost
“For me (Lavender Graduation) means that the world is changing and it’s changing in a great way,” George Kelly, Assistant Director of Business and Personnel Services for Residential Life and Housing and the chair of Lavender Graduation, said. “For us to be able to do this for the students who don’t have anybody they can share their sexuality with, or what they’re living and going through, this is a way for them to celebrate and be recognized and I think it’s great.”
Best wishes to all the Lavender Graduates; we cannot wait to see how you color the world!
Check back soon to view photos from the ceremony and reception on our Flickr page.