20 years ago, the University of Michigan started a special graduation ceremony to honor its LGBTQ students, their leadership, scholarship and successes throughout the year. Now, many other colleges, including Grand Valley State University, have caught on and host their own versions of Lavender Graduation.
The ceremony, a celebration of culture and diversity, was created due to a lack of recognition of LGBTQ youth. Other groups had their own graduation and recognition ceremonies on campus, but nothing existed for LGBTQ students. LavGrad serves as a way to recognize this group and their achievements - achievements often times realized while facing adversity. GVSU also created the Prism Award to acknowledge staff members who support the LGBTQ student community.
Last year marked GVSU's 8th annual LavGrad. The ceremony continues to develop confidence and acceptance of LGBTQ students, and celebrates the lasting legacy these students leave on campus and in the community.
Visit some of GVSU's LGBT alliance groups: