LSU Office of Multicultural Affairs to Host Celebrations in Advance of Spring Commencement
BATON ROUGE – LSU’s Office of Multicultural Affairs will host two celebrations – Lavender Graduation and the Robing Ceremony – in advance of the university’s spring commencement ceremonies on May 16-17.
The LSU Office of Multicultural Affairs strives to facilitate the academic excellence, personal growth and social experiences of all students with specific commitments to students of color and other traditionally underrepresented groups. Through programming efforts, the staff of OMA coordinates, implements and executes comprehensive educational, cultural and social activities that reflect the cultural diversity LSU has to offer.
Lavender Graduation – Tuesday, May 14, at 1 p.m.
LSU students will have the opportunity to participate in the “Lavender Graduation” stole presentation on Tuesday, May 14, at 1 p.m. in the Royal Cotillion Ballroom in the LSU Student Union. A reception will follow immediately after the ceremony.
Lavender Graduation honors and celebrates the accomplishments of LSU’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and allied/asexual, or LGBTQA, students who have successfully completed their college careers, or will successfully complete their degrees in the summer or fall of 2013, and will be receiving an undergraduate or graduate degree at LSU.
At the ceremony, degree candidates will receive a lavender stole to signify the completion of their academic journey. There will be live music from a local band and inspirational keynote addresses from speakers including Laurie Braden, director of LSU University Recreation, and Taylor Cox, 2012-13 president of Student Government. Parents, faculty members or significant persons to the graduate are invited to attend.
Bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral graduates can register to participate in the ceremony at http://uiswcmsweb.prod.lsu.edu/edco/safespace/item57397.html. Faculty and staff members who would like to show their support in full regalia can RSVP via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, May 13.
This year marks the first time the Lavender Graduation celebration is being sponsored by the university. In previous years, Spectrum, the LSU student organization for LGBTQ students and their allies, sponsored the celebration. The original Lavender Graduation was held at the University of Michigan in 1995. Lavender Graduation celebrations are now held at universities throughout the nation, including the University of Alabama, the University of Florida, the University of Georgia and the University of Tennessee.
Robing Ceremony – Thursday, May 16, at 9:30 a.m.
More than 550 African and African-American students will have the opportunity to participate in the LSU African-American Cultural Center’s 17th annual Robing Ceremony on Thursday, May 16, at 9:30 a.m. in the Bo Campbell Auditorium at the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes.
The Robing Ceremony honors and celebrates African and African-American students who have successfully completed their college careers and will be receiving an undergraduate or graduate degree at LSU. This event, which resembles traditional African ceremonies, is held at the end of each spring semester.
At the ceremony, degree candidates receive the traditional African Kente stole, woven in LSU colors, to signify the completion of their academic journey. The patterns and colors woven into the Kente represent distinctive qualities exemplified by LSU graduates. The colors purple and gold not only represent the great tradition of the university, but also royalty and precious metals. Parents, faculty members or significant persons to the graduate participate in the ceremony by robing the students with the stole.
Katrice Albert, vice provost for Equity, Diversity & Community Outreach, will give the welcome address and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Stuart Bell will be making special remarks. Earnest M. Fingers, a learning specialist in the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes at LSU, will give the graduate charge and community response, and graduating senior Nyasha Hill will give remarks on behalf of the class of 2013.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Albert will symbolically pass the staff as the presiding elder of the Council of Elders to Kenneth Miles, assistant vice chancellor and executive director of Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes, who will serve as interim vice provost for Equity, Diversity & Community Outreach beginning in June following the departure of Albert. A Karimu, or Feast of Joy, reception will follow in the Legends Club in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
This year, the Robing Ceremony is celebrating its 17th anniversary. In 1996, Gwendolyn E. Snearl and Tayarikwa Salaam developed a program to honor and celebrate the achievements of African-American students graduating from LSU and the Robing Ceremony was born. The Robing Ceremony recognizes and celebrates the successful passage of these students through LSU into the community. To date, more than 1,600 graduating seniors have participated in the 16 previous ceremonies.
The Office of Multicultural Affairs, a unit of the Office of Equity, Diversity & Community Outreach, seeks to create an environment at LSU that embraces individual difference, sustains inclusion and cultivates a campus atmosphere that is free from bias.
Lavender Graduation is sponsored by the LGBTQ Project and Safe Space Campaign; the Office of Multicultural Affairs; the Office of Equity, Diversity & Community Outreach; and Spectrum. For more information on Lavender Graduation, contact Chad Freeman, graduate assistant for the LGBTQ Project and Safe Space Campaign in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, at email@example.com.
The Robing Ceremony is sponsored by the African-American Cultural Center; the Office of Multicultural Affairs; the Office of Equity, Diversity & Community Outreach; and the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes. For more information on the Robing Ceremony, contact LaKeitha Poole, coordinator for African-American Student Affairs, at 225-578-9469.