Lavender Graduation celebrates Louisiana State University's LGBTQ+ community and honors the academic achievements of graduating LGBTQ+ and allied students. The Lavender Graduation Ceremony does not replace the students' commencement; instead it is a presentation of their lavender cords which can be worn during their LSU graduation ceremony. The event features a welcome from the LGBTQ+ Project Staff and University administration, a keynote speaker, and presentation of the lavender cords. Students may choose who they wish to present their cord and this event is open to the public.
Sixth Annual Lavender Graduation Ceremony
May 8th, 2019
Claude L. Shaver Theatre
Doors open at 12:30 p.m.
Ceremony begins at 1:00 p.m.
History of Lavender Graduation
Lavender Graduations are annual ceremonies which are conducted on numerous campuses to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and ally students of all races and ethnicities and to acknowledge their achievements and their contributions to their respective Universities. Dr. Ronni Sanlo, a Jewish Lesbian, created the original Lavender Ceremony in 1995 at the University of Michigan with only three students. By 2018, over 150 universities nationwide will have celebrated a Lavender Graduation Ceremony.
“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 Graduation at Louisiana State University
The first Lavender Graduation at Louisiana State University was hosted by the Office of Multicultural Affairs in May of 2013. Twenty students walked across the Student Union's Royal Cotillion Ballroom stage to accept their lavender stole and were celebrated by family and friends in the audience. Since 2013, the ceremony has moved from presenting students with stoles to cords; allowing more flexibility in their graduation regalia. Currently, Lavender Graduation at LSU only occurs in the Spring semesters.
Before popular use of the color pink and the rainbow, lavender was largely associated with the LBGTQ+ community for several reasons. First, lavender "is a blend of the traditionally gender-identified colors pink and blue, blurring the lines, subverting and challenging gender norms." Second, "lavender is a shade of purple, which has an association with royalty, and our community is full of queens, kings and other fabulous titles." And finally, "the purple stripe on the rainbow flag symbolizes the spirit of the LGBTQ community."
Registration for the event is $15. This covers the ceremony, your lavender cords, and the reception. Please use the link below to register and make your payment (if paying cash, mark "Paying in Cash" on the form, then bring your payment to the Office of Multicultural Affairs during business hours). You will also be asked to provide the name and relationship of who will present you with your cords during the ceremony. If no one is listed, a member of the Office of Multicultural Affairs will present your cords to you. If you cannot afford the registration fee, please contact LGBTQProject@lsu.edu or stop by the Office of Multicultural Affairs during business hours to have it waived. Students graduating in other semesters may follow the registration link below to purchase a cord for their respective commencement and may choose to attend the next Lavender Graduation ceremony.