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LHU News

Lock Haven University Holds Lavender Graduation Ceremony


From left, are Dr. Erin Kennedy, Dr. Lisette Schillig, Rick Schulze, Dr. Amy Downes, Dr. Diana Rogers-Adkinson, Hunter Swartz, Alexis Gallagher, Dr. Ann Larson, Dr. Leo-Feilix Jurado, Dr. Ron Darbeau, and Emily Powell Hodges.

Lock Haven University recently held its Lavender Graduation event honoring two fall graduates, Hunter Swartz, of Jersey Shore and Alexis Gallagher, of Scranton.

Lavender Graduation is a nationwide event that celebrates the academic achievements of LGBTQA students and allies. LHU’s ceremony was organized by the President’s Commission on LGBTQ Affairs.

“Congratulations to our Lavender graduates, and thank you to the President’s Commission on LGBTQ Affairs for organizing the event in support of our LGBTQA students,” said Dr. Bashar W. Hanna, university president.


Lavender Graduates, Hunter Swartz and Alexis Gallagher

Swartz graduated with a degree in health science, exercise science. During her time at The Haven, she was a member of the Athletic Training Club, was a student mentor in the Student Success Office, and also held positions as a student ambassador and orientation leader. She plans to continue her education and pursue employment in student affairs and higher education.

Gallagher received a degree in social work and while a student at LHU was a part of the Eagle Eye student newspaper, the Social Work Club, and a member of Zeta Tau Alpha. She is employed by Children and Youth Services and plans to pursue a master’s degree at Millersville University with further plans to attend the University of Tennessee to earn a certification in veterinary social work. 

“Lavender Graduation recognizes our diverse students at LHU,” said Rick Schulze, commission chairperson. “We are so proud of our LGBTQA students and want to acknowledge their contributions and accomplishments while at LHU. We know LGBTQA students can sometimes be invisible in the eyes of society. We hope Lavender Graduation affirms our students, knowing they are a part of the LHU family.”

Dr. Lisette Schillig, commission member, presented the graduating seniors with a certificate, rainbow tassel cords, and a graduation gift.

Others in attendance as allies and who provided comments acknowledging graduates were Dr. Ann Larson, dean of the College of Education and Human Services; Dr. Leo-Felix Jurado, dean of the College of Health Professions; Dr. Diana Rogers-Adkinson, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs; and Dr. Ron Darbeau, vice president for faculty affairs and academic operations.

Schulze thanked the Office of Diversity, Excellence, and Inclusion for its support and the Lavender Graduation Committee was recognized for their efforts of coordinating the event. The committee includes Emily Powell Hodges, chair; Dr. Lisette Schillig; Dr. Amy Downes; and Julie Stellfox.

Dr. Erin Kennedy, a commission member, was acknowledged for her contributions to the Athlete Ally program. 

Dr. Rick Goulet, President of LHU APSCUF, represented the faculty and acknowledged the graduating seniors.

Lavender Graduation is open to all LHU students, regardless of their sexual orientation. For more information, contact Emily Powell Hodges at

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