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.

10th Annual Lavender Graduation

Thank you for your patience, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Spectrum & Allies is working hard to solidify plans for the 10th annual Lavender Graduation. Please bookmark this page and return at a later time when we announce the event details.

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.