Lavender Graduation and Awards Dinner honors Elon LGBTQIA students

Sponsored by the Gender and LGBTQIA Center, the Lavender Graduation & Awards Dinner 2018 was an opportunity to honor outstanding students. 

A number of the award winners recognized at Friday night's dinner. 
Forty Elon graduating seniors and graduate students, along with other top achievers at Elon were honored Friday, May 4, at the annual Lavender Graduation & Awards Dinner. 

This year saw the largest number of Lavender Graduates at Elon and its largest crowd, with about 175 helping celebrate this year’s graduates and award winners. The event is part of Ignite, a two-day LGBTQIA alumni summit that is co-sponsored by the Office for Alumni Engagement, the LGBTQIA Alumni Network and the Gender and LGBTQIA Center. 

​The annual graduation ceremony, which is held at other college and university campuses around the country, celebrates the achievements and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersex, asexual and ally students. 

The event was emceed by Matthew Antonio Bosch, director of the Gender and LGBTQIA Center, with an opening address by President Connie Ledoux Book. 

The award winners at this year’s events are:

Highest GPA:

  • Bethany Beckham ’18
  • Mitchell Bergens ’18

Student Publication / Research of the Year:

  • Olivia Ryan ’18

Student of the Year:

  • Tres McMichael ’19
  • Charlie Cheema ’19

Breakout Student of the Year:

  • Avery Hunt ’20
  • CJ Porterfield ’20
  • Tim Boles ’20

Faculty / Staff of the Year:

  • Kevin Bourque (Faculty, English)
  • Kaila Price (Staff, Residence Life)

Inspirational Ally of the Year:

  • Ann Cahill (Faculty, Philosophy)
  • Sabrina Thurman (Faculty, Psychology)

Department of the Year:

  • Women’s, Gender, and Sexualities Studies
  • Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education

Event / Initiative of the Year:

  • Dragstravaganza (Spectrum, Gender & LGBTQIA Center)
  • #MeToo & You:  Shifting Society and Campus Culture (EFFECT Elon Feminists, Gender & LGBTQIA Center, Inclusive Community Development, Sexual Assault & Gender Issues Council (SAGIC), Title IX, Violence Response, Women’s Forum, & Women’s, Gender, and Sexualities Studies)

Community Excellence Award:

  • Raafe Purnsley ’12