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Lavender Graduation Ceremony to recognize LGBT students

Mackenzie McClintock

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What: The Lavender Graduation Ceremony is an event held to recognize students at the University who identify as LGBT. The event is in its sixth year at the University.

Kirk Walter, the outgoing president of the Capstone Alliance, said the event consists of a welcome address from Dr. Stuart Bell, a student speaker and a ceremony in which the participants are given certificates and rainbow cords and tassels. Another speaker and a reception period follow the ceremony, Walter said.

The event is open to the public and it is a casual graduation ceremony, Walter said.

Who: The Capstone Alliance is hosting the event and has many sponsors for this year’s ceremony, a few being the American Studies Department, UA Safe Zone and the Women and Gender Resource Center.

The Capstone Alliance is the LGBT organization at the University that consists of faculty, staff and graduate students, Walter said.

When: Monday, April 18, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Where: Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library Room 205

Why: Walter said he hopes this ceremony allows for participating students to feel recognized and appreciated for their accomplishments and the challenges they may have faced at the University.

“It’s important to anyone who participates in terms of having that acknowledgement and validation of their identities and the time that they have spent [at the University],” Walter said. “But, I think it is particularly important and relevant to a lot of our trans-identified students for whom this might be the only graduation ceremony sponsored by UA in which their correct names and gender identities are respected. This is an opportunity for us and for the University to acknowledge the students real identities.”

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Lavender Graduation Ceremony to recognize LGBT students