Mohawk Valley Community College’s Gay Straight Alliance will host a Lavender Graduation ceremony to honor the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and ally students who are completing their studies at the College in 2017, at 11:30 a.m. Friday, May 12, in Alumni College Center room 116 at the Utica Campus.
The Lavender Graduation ceremony will honor the following students: SaraRose Brandow, Hailey Preston, Jay Webster, Devi Hannel, and Nicholas Chadwell.
MVCC alumnus Elliott Sharrow ’16, program manager for The Q Center in Utica, will be the guest speaker for the event. A graduation cake and refreshments will follow the ceremony.
Lavender Graduation is an annual ceremony conducted on college campuses across the country to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and ally students and acknowledge their achievements. Lavender Graduation was created by Dr. Ronni Sanlo, a Jewish lesbian, who was denied the opportunity to attend the graduations of her biological children because of her sexual orientation, which allowed her to understand the pain felt by her students. The first Lavender Graduation was held at the University of Michigan in 1995, with three graduates. By 2001, there were more than 45 Lavender Graduation ceremonies at colleges and universities nationwide.