Lavender Graduation

The Lavender Graduation Ceremony will be held on April 29, 2022 at 7:00 PM in Tennant Hall, located at Albion First United Methodist Church. Participating graduates will be honored with a lavender graduation cord and rainbow tassle as a gift from the Office of Campus Life.

What is Lavender Graduation?

Lavender Graduation is a cultural celebration that recognizes LGBTQ students of all races and ethnicities and acknowledges their achievements and contributions to Albion College as students who survived the college experience. Through such recognition LGBTQ students may leave the university with a positive last experience of the institution thereby encouraging them to become involved mentors for current students as well as financially contributing alumni.

Lavender Graduation is an event to which LGBTQ students look forward, where they not only share their hopes and dreams with one another, but where they are officially recognized by the institution for their leadership and their successes and achievements.

Lavender is important to LGBTQ history.  It is a combination of the pink triangle that gay men were forced to wear in concentration camps and the black triangle designating lesbians as political prisoners in Nazi Germany.  The LGBTQ civil rights movement took these symbols of hatred and combined them to make symbols and color of pride and community.

The History of the Lavender Graduation Ceremony?

The Lavender Graduation Ceremony was created by Dr. Ronni Sanlo, a Jewish Lesbian, who was denied the opportunity to attend the graduations of her biological children because of her sexual orientation. It was through this experience that she came to understand the pain felt by her students. Encouraged by the Dean of Students at the University of Michigan, Dr. Sanlo designed the first Lavender Graduation Ceremony in 1995. The first Lavender Graduation began at the University of Michigan in 1995, with three graduates. By 2001, there were over 45 Lavender Graduation Ceremonies at Colleges and Universities nationwide. Graduating students are invited to take part in the celebration, which will occur each year the week prior to college-wide commencement events.

Lavender Graduation Registration