Lavender Graduation celebrates Louisiana State University's LGBTQ+ community and honors the academic achievements of graduating LGBTQ+ and allied students. The Lavender Graduation Ceremony does not replace the students' commencement; instead it is a presentation of their lavender cords which can be worn during their LSU graduation ceremony. The event features a welcome from the LGBTQ+ Project Staff and University administration, a keynote speaker, and presentation of the lavender cords. Students may choose who they wish to present their cord and this event is open to the public.
Seventh Annual Lavender Graduation Ceremony
May 13th, 2020
The Dalton J. Woods Auditorium
Doors open at 12:30 p.m.
Ceremony begins at 1:00 p.m.
Faculty and Staff Procession
Faculty and staff are invited to participate in the annual Lavender Graduation procession. Regalia is not required to participate. Information about the meeting location and time will be shared with registered participants closer to the event date.
Energy, Coast & Environment Building
This year's Lavender Graduation Ceremony will be held in the The Dalton J. Woods Auditorium within the Energy, Coast & Environment Building on LSU's campus. The reception will be held just outside the auditorium in the Rotunda. Graduates and Faculty/Staff participating in the procession should report to the Rotunda for instructions at 12:30 p.m.
93 South Quad Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Parking for visitors will be located along South Quad Drive across the street from the Energy, Coast & Environment Building. Faculty and Staff with C lot privileges may park next to the building. Please contact our office at least 48 hours in advance if accessible parking arrangements need to be made.
Who needs to register?
Only graduating students need to register. Students graduating in December 2019, August 2020, and December 2020 may also register. Parents, family, and friends are welcome to attend the event for free and do not need to register.
Why is there a cost?
Registration for the event is $20 per graduate. This covers the ceremony, your lavender cords, and the reception. If you cannot afford the registration fee, please contact LGBTQProject@lsu.edu or stop by the Office of Multicultural Affairs during business hours to have it waived.
Please register and make your payment (if paying cash, mark "Paying in Cash" on the form, then bring your payment to the Office of Multicultural Affairs during business hours).
Why do I need to identify someone to cord me?
One of the many things that makes Lavender Graduation special is the ability for you to select someone important in your life to "cord" you during the event. This person will meet you on stage and place the cords over your shoulders. Students often select family members, partners, faculty members, and friends to do the honors. On the registration form you will also be asked to provide the name and relationship of the person 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.
I would like a cord, but I am not able to attend the ceremony. What do I do?
Simply follow the registration link to purchase a cord and indicate that you will not be able to attend the Lavender Graduation ceremony.
Lavender Graduations are annual ceremonies which are 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 their contributions to their respective Universities. Dr. Ronni Sanlo, a Jewish Lesbian, created the original Lavender Ceremony in 1995 at the University of Michigan with only three students. By 2019, over 175 universities nationwide will have celebrated a Lavender Graduation Ceremony.
“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 first Lavender Graduation at Louisiana State University was hosted by the Office of Multicultural Affairs in May of 2013. Twenty students walked across the Student Union's Royal Cotillion Ballroom stage to accept their lavender stole and were celebrated by family and friends in the audience. Since 2013, the ceremony has moved from presenting students with stoles to cords; allowing more flexibility in their graduation regalia. Currently, Lavender Graduation at LSU only occurs in the Spring semesters.
Before popular use of the color pink and the rainbow, lavender was largely associated with the LBGTQ+ community for several reasons. First, lavender "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 finally, "the purple stripe on the rainbow flag symbolizes the spirit of the LGBTQ community."