An Annual Celebration of our LGBTQIA+ Students
Lavender Ceremony is an annual celebration honoring and acknowledging the achievements of LGBTQIA+ graduating seniors at Haverford College.
2022 Lavender Graduation
The ceremony is hosted by the Center of Gender Resources and Sexuality Equity (GRASE), in partnership with the Institutional Diversity, Equity, Access (IDEA), student organizations, campus partners, and friends. The event includes:
- presentation of honor cords, gift from the Arboretum, and publications of HaverQueers and HerStory
- special performance and words from students, staff, faculty, and alumni
- reception with catering and photos
“Lavender” as LGBTQIA+ Resistance
From the inverted black triangles that were used as identification marks for lesbian women and pink for gay men during the holocaust, to the lesbian activist group called the Lavender Menace, the color lavender has been reclaimed in LGBTQIA+ activism spaces as a a symbol of resistance.
History of Lavender Graduation
The first Lavender Graduation took place at the University of Michigan in 1995 with just three graduates. It was created by Dr. Ronni Sanlo, LGBTQIA+ Campus Resource Director at the University of Michigan, after she was denied the opportunity to attend the graduations of her children because of her sexual orientation. Today, over 500 colleges and universities host Lavender ceremonies. At Haverford College, we joined this tradition by hosting our inaugural Lavender Graduation in May 2022.
Lavender Graduation Quick Facts
- The Lavender Graduation is hosted in May prior to the college commencement. It does not replace the college commencement, and you may attend both.
- Any self-identified LGBTQIA+ graduating seniors may participate in the ceremony, though all members of the college community are invited to attend as guests.
- Students generally wear cocktail, festive, or business attire for the event. We encourage students to wear attire that makes them comfortable and celebratory for the occasion.