Sixth Annual Lavender Graduation Ceremony
About Lavender Graduation
Lavender Graduation at Louisiana State University is a way to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and honor the graduates' academic achievement. Lavender Graduation does not replace the students' actual graduation, instead, it is a presentation of their lavender cords which can be worn during their graduation ceremony. The event will feature a welcome from the university's administration, a keynote speaker, and the presentation of the graduates' cords. Students may choose a family member, friend, or significant other to present them with their cords. This event is open to anyone in the LGBTQ+ Community, as well as straight and cisgender allies.
History of Lavender Graduation
Louisiana State University's first lavender graduation took place in May of 2013 when the Office of Multicultural Affairs hosted the event in the Student Union's Royal Cotillion Ballroom. Twenty students walked across the stage to accept their lavender stole, celebrated by family and friends in the audience. Since then, the ceremony has moved from stoles to cords, allowing students more flexibility in their graduation regalia.
Lavender graduations are annual ceremonies conducted on numerous campuses to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and ally students of all races and ethnicities and to acknowledge their achievements and contribution to Louisiana State University. Dr. Ronni Sanlo, a Jewish Lesbian, created the original Lavender Ceremony in 1995 at the University of Michigan with only three students. By 2018, over 150 universities nationwide will have celebrated with a lavender graduation. “Lavender Graduation is an event to which LGBTQ students look forward, where they not only share their hopes and dreams with one another, but where they are officially recognized by the institution for their leadership and their successes and achievements.”
The Lavender Cords
Historically, before popular use of the color pink and the rainbow, lavender was largely associated with the LBGTQ community for a couple of reasons. First, "It is a blend of the traditionally gender-identified colors pink and blue, blurring the lines, subverting and challenging gender norms." Second, "lavender is a shade of purple, which has an association with royalty, and our community is full of queens, kings and other fabulous titles." And lastly, "[l]et's remember, the purple stripe on the rainbow flag symbolizes the spirit of the LGBTQ community." You may also recall that shades of purple have recently "been worn on Spirit Day to support LGBTQ youth and spread the awareness in hopes to end bullying." 
Registration for the event costs $15, which covers the ceremony, your lavender cords, and the reception to follow the ceremony. Please use the link below to register and make the $15 payment (if paying cash, mark "Paying in Cash" on the form, then bring your payment to the Office of Multicultural Affairs during business hours). You will also be asked to provide the name and relationship of a family member, friend, or significant other who will present you with your cords during the ceremony. If no one is listed, a member of the Office of Multicultural Affairs will present your cords to you.
If you cannot afford the $15, please contact LGBTQProject@lsu.edu or stop by the Office of Multicultural Affairs during business hours.