The College of Charleston will host the inaugural Lavender Celebration December 13, 2013 at 6 p.m. in the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance Alumni Center (86 Wentworth St.).
The Lavender Celebration will honor graduating seniors and scholarship recipients who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual, allied, intersexual and pansexual (LGBTQQAAIP). It is sponsored by the College of Charleston’s SafeZone program, which is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and inclusive campus environment for all students regardless of their gender identity, expression or sexual orientation.
“We’ve been planning a Lavender Celebration to coincide with graduation for two years now, so it’s exciting that it’s finally here,” Tom Holcomb, director of the ROAR Scholars program and SafeZone committee member said. “It’s an event for graduating LGBTQQAAI seniors and for everyone who believes in equality, and we look forward to making it a tradition at the College.”
Three students are expected to take part in the winter commencement Lavender Celebration ceremony, with many more expected to participate in the larger spring commencement ceremony.
“This is an important part of the College’s SafeZone five-year plan that celebrates not only these students’ academic accomplishments, but also their social achievements,” David Michener, associate director of Multicultural Student Programs and Services and chair of the SafeZone program.
The first Lavender Graduation ceremony took place at the University of Michigan in 1995 to commemorate LGBTQQAAIP students in front of their friends, families and significant others.