Pride Center to Host Lavender Graduation
Pride gears up to recognize LGBTQ+ graduates and Pride Award Recipients
The Pride Center will be hosting UND’s Lavender Graduation and Pride Awards on April 15 in the Henry Family Ballroom from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. The Lavender Graduation is an annual recognition ceremony hosted at over 200 colleges and universities across the nation to celebrate the academic achievements of queer and trans students. The first Lavender Graduation was created by Dr. Ronni Sanlo at the University of Michigan in 1995 as a way to recognize the challenges and achievements of those who tend to feel more disenfranchised from their collegiate experience.
Last year in Spring 2023, the Pride Center recognize the largest class of queer and trans graduates with 27 graduates in comparison to the 8 graduates in 2022 and even less in previous years. Dr. Jeff Maliskey, director of the Pride Center shares the importance of Lavender Graduation, “I have been a part of the Lavender Graduation celebration since 2017 with 1 student graduating in Fall 2017 and have watched it grow to being something students, faculty, and staff look forward to in the spring semester. Holding space, recognizing students for their accomplishments, and celebrating the work for queer and trans inclusivity on campus is so important right now; we have to find pockets of queer joy to remain resilient.”
Maliskey is hopeful that this year will have an even larger participation in Lavender Graduation along with an increase in Pride Award Nominations.
Students graduating in the Spring, Summer, and Fall 2024 semesters are encouraged to register for Lavender Graduation. Students who participate walk the stage and receive a lavender cord that can be worn at UND Commencement. Deadline to register is April 01, 2024
The Pride Awards recognize outstanding individuals in the UND community who have contributed to the advancement of LGBTQ+ inclusion, community, education, support, programming, and advocacy. The Pride Award categories include:
LGBTQ+ Student Leader Award
The LGBTQ+ Student Leader Award recognizes one student for their outstanding leadership, commitment, dedication and service within the University for the LGBTQ+ community. This individual serves as a role model for their peers and demonstrates an ongoing commitment to LGBTQ+ leadership, advocacy, activism, and education. Nominees must be active members of an LGBTQ+ student organization on campus.
Emerging Leader Award
The emerging leader award goes to a first-year LGBTQ+ student who has shown great potential in leadership. This individual has demonstrated a commitment to uplifting and advocating for the LGBTQ+ community on campus.
Outstanding Ally to the LGBTQ+ Community Award
The Outstanding Ally to the LGBTQ+ community award is given to an individual who has demonstrated and ongoing commitment and dedication to the UND LGBTQ+ community through allyship. This individual goes above and beyond to advocate for LGBTQ+ students, faculty, staff, and actively engages in work to create a more inclusive and equitable campus community. Students, faculty, and staff can be nominated for this award.
LGBTQ+ Advocate Award
The LGBTQ+ Advocate Award recognizes a faculty or staff member of the UND community that actively contributes to a positive campus for LGBTQ+ individuals. This individual may have achieved this through advancing LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum, expanding LGBTQ+ research in their field, engages in work to improve campus policies and climate, and goes above and beyond to create a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and staff.