What is Lavender Graduation?

Lavender Graduation is an annual ceremony conducted on many campuses to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ+) students and to acknowledge their achievements and contributions to their institutions. The Lavender Graduation Ceremony was created by Dr. Ronni Sanlo. She was denied the opportunity to attend the graduations of her biological children because of her sexual orientation.

It was through this experience that she came to understand the pain felt by her students. Encouraged by the Dean of Students at the University of Michigan, Dr. Sanlo designed the first Lavender Graduation ceremony in 1995 with three graduates.

By 2001, there were over 45 Lavender Graduation ceremonies at colleges and universities nationwide. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Spectrum: LGBTQ and Allies of Wichita State University came together to put on the first Lavender Graduation during the month of GAYpril (April) in 2015 with four graduates. In addition, our first keynote speaker was Stacey Mann, lecturer for the School of Social Work. We are excited to continue to celebrate our graduates and look forward to the growth of the program.

8th Annual Lavender Graduation

8th Annual Lavender Graduation

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Spectrum: LGBTQ & Allies invites graduating LGBTQ+ students to the 8th annual Lavender Graduation. This is a special ceremony that honors the achievements of graduating lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ+) students at Wichita State University.


All eligible graduates will be able to opt-in to this celebration by RSVPing in the following form. We respect the privacy and discretion of those individuals who do not wish to be recognized as well, which will be indicated in the form. For those who opt-in, the form will request information, such as your name, major(s), minor(s) and a high-definition photo. Please take this time to find a high-definition photo before you begin the RSVP form.

You MUST RSVP by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 25 to receive your lavender or rainbow cord. NO RSVPS WILL BE TAKEN AFTER THE DEADLINE.

Richard A. Case and Richard D. Muma taking a picture together.

The Richard D. Muma and Rick A. Case Equality Scholarship was originally established in 2011 because the donors felt that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) students are often overlooked and want to show that group of students that someone notices and cares about them. They want to encourage those students not to hide.

Stephanie Mott Living Authentically Award

The Stephanie Mott Living Authentically Award recognizes the leadership, vision and commitment of a faculty, staff or graduate assistant to the LGBTQ+ communities at Wichita State University. This award was formerly known as the Harvey Milk Award.