Lavender Graduation honors LGBTQIA graduates who are undergraduates and graduate students at Elon University. Each graduate is recognized during the ceremony and receives a graduation stole, lavender graduation cap, rainbow tassel, and certificate.

Lavender Graduation is free to students and fully funded by donations to the Gender and LGBTQIA Center (GLC). To give to the GLC, visit our giving page.

11th Annual Lavender Graduation – May 2023

We are excited for the 11th Annual Lavender Graduation ceremony to honor LGBTQIA undergraduate and graduate students who will graduate in May 2023. The event details are:

  • Date: May 5, 2023
  • Ceremony Time: 5:00pm – 6:00pm (Graduates arrive at 4:30pm for check in)
  • Reception: 6:00pm – 7:00pm
  • Location: McKinnon Hall, Moseley Student Center
  • RSVP:
    • Graduates – Sign Up Form (Sign Up Closed – email for info)
    • Non-Graduates – RSVP via Ticket Page (Closes Monday, May 1)

Run of show for Lavender 2023 is now live – click here (linked) for information (Elon log-in credentials required)

Note: if you are a student who is graduating in December 2023, we will have a Lavender Graduation ceremony for these graduates in November/December (final date TBA)

What is Lavender Graduation?

Lavender Graduation is an annual ceremony conducted on numerous campuses to honor LGBTQIA students who are graduating by acknowledging their achievements in college as well as their contributions to the university. The 1st Lavender Graduation Ceremony in the U.S. was created by Dr. Ronni Sanlo at the University of Michigan.  Over 100+ universities hold Lavender Graduation Ceremonies among the list of their university’s Commencement Ceremonies.

At Elon, any student about to graduate may be honored, including both undergraduate and graduate students.  Students receive a rainbow stole, lavender graduation cap, rainbow tassel (which can be worn at Elon’s Commencement), and a certificate.

Why a Lavender Graduation Ceremony?

For decades students at colleges and universities around the country have been celebrating both their academic achievements and their cultural heritages at specialized commencement events. These events provide a sense of community for students who often experience tremendous culture shock at their institutions. Many students find these smaller ceremonies both meaningful and personal.

Lavender Graduation is an event to which LGBTQIA students look forward, where they not only share their hopes and dreams with one another, but where they are officially recognized by the institution for their leadership and their successes and achievements.