Spectrum Center

Participant Registration

The Annual Lavender Graduation, also referred to as LavGrad, is a celebration to honor LGBTQ graduates of the University of Michigan.  Established by Ronni Sanlo in 1995, the University of Michigan was the first commemorative event of its kind celebrated at an institution of higher learning.  This commencement ceremony acknowledges the contributions of any graduates from any school/college at the University and of any academic level.  All participants within the LGBTQ communities, who register for the event prior to the deadline, will receive a free rainbow 2020 tassel, a lavender cord, and an optional Lavender Degree.  Participating graduates are welcome to invite their loved ones to celebrate their accomplishments. To register for Lavender Graduation, please register below prior to the deadline of Sunday, March 29, 2020, at 11:59 pm.  Graduating students who register after the aforementioned deadline are welcome to attend the LavGrad ceremony and reception. However, they will not be receiving a free rainbow 2020 tassel, a lavender cord, and an optional Lavender Degree.

Lavender Graduation Participant Registration


Lavender Graduation Event Details:
Thursday, April 30, 2020
Location: Trotter Multicultural Center, Multipurpose Rooms
Address: 428 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Doors open at 4:00 pm
Ceremony 4:30 - 6:00 pm
Reception 6:00 - 7:00 pm

Event Navigation Details

In order to prepare participants and guests to attend Lavender Graduation, the Spectrum Center staff provides details about the event. Click below to view the document. We welcome any feedback on how to improve this document. For any feedback, please email spectrumcenter@umich.edu.

Event Navigation Link

Keynote Speaker and Lavender Honorary Degree Recipient

The Spectrum Center is pleased to announce that Ronni Sanlo, Founder of Lavender Graduation in 1995, will be the Keynote Speaker for the Lavender Graduation ceremony and be the recipient of an Honorary Lavender Degree. Playwright, author and LGBT historian Dr. Ronni Sanlo is a well-known keynote speaker at colleges and universities around the country. Ronni speaks not only from her perspective as a higher education/student affairs professor, LGBT center director, dean of students, and faculty in residence but also from her personal life experiences. 

She began writing Readers’ Theater plays in just the past few years. Her first, Sing Meadowlark, has been performed around the country. Dear Anita Bryant is her second. Her third play, The Soldier and the Time Traveler are currently being readied for table reads. Now retired, Dr. Sanlo directed the UCLA LGBT Center and was a professor at the UCLA Graduate School of Education. She is the founder of the award-winning Lavender Graduation, a commencement event that honors the lives and achievements of LGBTQ students. Prior to her work in Higher Education, Ronni was an HIV epidemiologist in Florida. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Florida, and a master's and doctorate in education from the University of North Florida. Ronni and her wife Dr. Kelly Watson live in Palm Springs, CA, and Sequim, WA. To learn more about Dr. Sanlo, visit ronnisanlo.com.

                 Ronni Sanlo

Awards Categories & Nominations

During the Lavender Graduation ceremony, the Spectrum Center recognizes the accomplishments of the graduating class by awarding several individuals and groups who have impacted the LGBTQ community. The awards categories are:

  • Cornerstone Awards 
  • Excellence in Student Leadership
  • Intersectional Advocacy Award 
  • Inspirational Influence Award
  • Outstanding Volunteer of the Year 

More details about the award descriptions can be found on the Award Nomination Form below. The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, March 27, 2020, at 11:59 pm.

Award Nomination Form