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 graduate from any school/college at the university and of any academic level.
In lieu of an in-person event, Spectrum Center launched a dedicated online website on April 29, 2021 to celebrate LGBTQ+ graduates at the University of Michigan. The virtual celebration highlights the 2021 award recipients and Lavender Graduating Class of 2021. In addition, visitors will enjoy an interactive program booklet and watching congratulatory remarks from Director, Will Sherry, MSW and Vice President for Student Life, Martino Harmon, Ph.D. As well as a keynote address by David Green, Jr., Ph.D. Join us in celebrating this year’s Lavender Graduating Class of 2021.
In 1995, Dr. Sanlo recognized 3 students during the first Lavender Graduation celebration. This year, we are joined by the largest Lavender Class. See the numbers below:
- 179 students registered for Lavender Graduation, including 126 undergraduate and 53 graduate students (master's, professional, and doctoral).
- 158 parcels were mailed out to students. They contained a lavender cord, rainbow tassels, Lavender certificate, and Spectrum Center memorabilia. Many have arrived in time for Commencement Weekend.
- 8 award recipients were recognized for their contributions, impacts, and legacies to the U-M community.
- For the first time, faculty and staff (15 of them) were able to send graduating students off with words of wisdom.