You may ask, “Lavender graduation…why the need for a special ceremony?” I’m glad you asked. A lot of seniors at Duke have been positively affected by their existence at Duke as a LGBTQ student and/or as an ally. Some students have also been very negatively affected and found the Center to be a safe haven at some point in their journey… a place to get support, a place to be greeted by a smiling face, a place to get a hug, a place to crash on the couch, a place to have fun and forget your troubles even if just for an hour. But most of all Lavender graduation is about celebrating who you are and one another as you have walked the campus of Duke as an LGBTQA students…even if you consider that part to only be a small part of who you are.
Whether a student has been in the Center every day or only just passed by our doors they are welcome to participate. And yes, there have been students in the past who participated in Lav grad who had never entered the Center door before, but who as they leave Duke want to celebrate/embrace who they are, and we welcome them! We also especially welcome allies to participate because it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to thank you and recognize your contributions to making Duke a safer place to be for LGBTQ students staff, and faculty.
If you are not a graduating senior why should you attend? If you are a Duke staff member or faculty member why should you attend? What a very visible show of support your presence is to the seniors as they leave this place they have called home for four years. It’s one of the last memories they will have of their time at Duke and you can help make it a very positive one that they will never forget. It will also fill your heart with pride for them and hope…hope that we are making this campus a more welcoming and safe space for all students and recognition that you play a very key part in making that happen and in ensuring its continuance in the years ahead.
I look forward to seeing you there!
Click here register to attend Lavender graduation