Lavender Graduation and Awards Ceremony honors excellence among Elon LGBTQIA students, employees and events

Sponsored by the Gender and LGBTQIA Center, the event on Friday, May 7, offered an opportunity to honor outstanding students.

Elon’s annual Lavender Graduation and Awards Ceremony on Friday, May 7, offered the opportunity to recognize members of the student body, university employees, undergraduate research and events for excellence.

Students, faculty and staff were able to gather in McKinnon Hall to celebrate the accomplishments of their peers and mentors during the in-person event, which had health and safety guidelines in place. Each member of the Class of 2021 in attendance received a lavender cap, a rainbow stole, a tassel, and a framed certificate.

The event was emceed by Luis Garay, director of the Gender and LGBTQIA Center, with an address by President Connie Ledoux Book. “I can see the growth and strength in each of you,” President Book told those gathered for the event in a video message.

Graduates also heard from Deidra Smith, director of alumni engagement, and Michael Spencer ’15, board member of the LGBTQIA Alumni Network, about the hopes for the soon-to-be alumni and the importance of being active alumni.

The following were honored at Lavender Graduation 2021:

Outstanding Graduates

  • Jubitza Figueroa
  • Kamal Lado

Employees of the Year

  • Libby Coyner, archivist and assistant librarian, Belk Library
  • Brooke Lombardi, adjunct instructor, Department of Human Service Studies

Event/Initiative of the Year

  • “The Moment” and Kamal Lado

Research Projects of the Year

  • “The Reclamation: Stories from the margins and the LGBTQIA+ communities in El Salvador” by Trinity Dixon
  • “They Told Us We Were Girls” by Lauren Memery