Lock Haven University held Lavender Graduation on Wednesday, May 2, to celebrate LGBTQ students and their academic successes. The five graduating seniors are, from left, Alisha Wein, Gabrielle Freeman, Quaadir Otto-Smallwood, Patrick Brown, and Cat Eccker.
Lock Haven University recently held Lavender Graduation on Wednesday, May 2 in the Parsons Union Building. A group of students, administrators, faculty, and staff got together to celebrate LGBTQ students and their academic successes.
“LHU’s President’s Commission on LGBTQ Affairs has been celebrating the academic achievements and successes of our LGBTQ students at Lavender Graduations in the fall and spring for several years now,” said Bre Reynolds, chair of the LGBTQ Commission and advisor of LHU’s Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA).
Lavender Graduation at LHU is open to anyone regardless of their sexual orientation. This month’s ceremony began at 6:30 p.m. with a welcome from the commission, followed by a graduation roll call and comments by students, staff, and faculty present to the seniors.
Reynolds spoke about the challenges that the LGBT students at LHU face and noted that these students are fearless for being who they are and not fitting into the heteronormative box that society has deemed appropriate.
Dr. Lisette Schillig, associate professor of English, and member of the Lavender Graduation committee, presented the five graduating seniors — Quaadir Otto-Smallwood, Alisha Wein, Patrick Brown, Gabrielle Freeman, and Cat Eccker — with a certificate, rainbow tassel and cord, and LHU gifts as a souvenir. Many in the crowd spoke to and of the graduates, giving accolades and praise.
Lavender Graduation is sponsored by the President’s Commission on LGBTQ Affairs, the Stackpole Hall Diversity Grant, LHU Safe Zone, and student clubs GSA and Gender Equality Liberation (GEL).
The Lavender Graduation program was organized by Schillig; Dr. Jeyaprakash Chelladurai, assistant professor of computer science; Dr. Gayatri Devi, associate professor of English; and Dr. Julie Story, assistant professor, academic development, and counseling.
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Lock Haven University is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System, the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas of study. Nearly 520,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.
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