Pride Celebration & Lavender Graduation

Pride Celebration & Lavender Graduation

Welcome! This page details our annual Western Pride Celebration & Lavender Graduation.

This ceremony celebrates our LGBTQ+ community and our Lavender Graduates. Anyone graduating during the 2023-2024 academic year can be recognized at the ceremony. We are also celebrating our Legacy Lavender Graduates, alum who graduated but never got their rainbow cord for whatever reason: early graduation, COVID-19, or even a graduate prior to us giving out the cords!

We will also have keynote, food, speakers, tie-dye, games, and more! All free!

Save the date for Friday May 31st from 4-7pm at Flag Plaza! Our backup rain location in the MAC Gym.

Check our FAQ for more information.

I hope to see you at the event!

JoeHahn, LGBTQ+ Director

Pride Celebration and Lavender Graduation Poster with a picture of lavender in the middle

Register to Attend

Register to Attend

Registration is open throughout the event. Registration is not required to attend, but appreciated as it helps us get a more accurate number of attendees.

Graduate Registration

Graduation Registration

For our 2023-2024 LGBTQ+ graduates and any alums who never received a rainbow cord.

Want to be featured on our Instagram? Please fill out your information here.

Tabling Registration

Register here to table, link has been fixed!

For Western LGBTQ+ Clubs and LGBTQ+ centered community partners and organizations.

Not for individual vending

 

Volunteer Registration

Sign Up Here

Sign up to volunteer at the event! Please sign up no later than May 26th.

LGBTQ+ Western Awards

For the first time this year, we are giving out awards to our students, faculty, staff, and community members!

The winners will be announced at the ceremony!

Queer Guild Club of the Year

Celebrating an LGBTQ+ club or organization that as provided transformational knowledge, resources, advocacy, and celebration to our community

LGBTQ+ Western Legacy Award

Honoring our graduating students who have impacted the experience of their LGBTQ+ peers during their time at Western.

Litav Langley Legacy Award

The Litav Langley Legacy Award is named after the first ever LGBTQ+ Director to honor a student, faculty, or staff member who has made a tremendous impact on the LGBTQ+ community at Western Washington University and thus creating their own legacy.

Previously awarded at the annual drag show in April, we honored Pao Falcon! Congrats Pao!

LGBTQ+ Western Staff Member of the Year:

Honoring an LGBTQ+ Western staff member whose passion, dedication, and commitment has made a profound impact on our team and the services that we provide

Rainbow Inspiration Award

Honoring an queer faculty or staff member who inspires the Western community to uplift the holistic wellbeing of LGBTQ+ people

Rainbow Bridge Award:

Honoring individuals who uplift the values of LGBTQ+ Western through collaborative engagement in the Bellingham community and beyond.

Schedule

4-4:20pm Reception

Enjoy food and mingle with the community prior to the ceremony. Meet the LGBTQ+ club leaders and community organizations.

4:20-4:30 Opening Remarks

JoeHahn and Ayanna Phillips, LGBTQ+ Western professional staff, will introduce the event.

4:30-4:40 Faculty/Staff Keynote

This year's keynote speaker is Dr. A. Longoria.

Longoria outside wearing an organge sweater looking towards the right. Trees are behind them

(they/them; Longoria), Chair of Secondary Education and Associate Professor Woodring College of Education; Director of Center for Education, Equity and Diversity (CEED)

Dr. Longoria (they/them; Longoria) is Associate Professor and Chair of Secondary Education in the Woodring College of Education at Western Washington University (WWU). They are a strong proponent of multicultural education, identity-sustaining pedagogy, and bridging the divide between methods (practice) and foundations (theory) in teacher education. Longoria is co-author, with Francisco Ríos, of the popular book Creating a Home in Schools: Sustaining Identities for Black, Indigenous, and Teachers of Color (Teachers College Press).

A former high school teacher, they formerly served as Academic Program Director for the Master in Teaching (MIT) program. Additionally, they previously served as co-chair (2020-2022) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Queer Studies Special Interest Group (SIG). Alongside department colega Dr. Vero Vélez, Longoria has co-supported the development of Ethnic Studies curriculum with a collective of educators for Bellingham Public Schools. They have taught courses for Family and Community Engaged Teaching (FACET) and for the Education and Social Justice (ESJ) minor. Longoria currently serves as Director for the Center for Education, Equity and Diversity (CEED)

Originally from El Centro, California, Longoria is a Chinx-Chicanx grandchild of immigrants from the Pearl River Delta in China and the state of Zacatecas in Mexico. Outside of academia, Longoria enjoys fiber crafting (especially knitting), bel canto opera, and cooking.  

4:40-5:00 Student Keynote Speaker

Our student keynote is Sof Trujillo (they/them)

Sof standing in front of Old Main wearing their regalia, a black gown with blue stole

Hello, I'm Sof (they/them) and I'm a graduating senior at WWU. I am graduating with a BA in Business Administration Management and Communication Studies, as well as receiving a certificate in entrepreneurship and innovation. Currently,  I work as an Education and Advocacy coordinator at LGBTQ+ Western and I am ingrained in the queer community in many ways. I enjoy playing rugby, rock climbing, dancing, and hanging out with friends. It's my honor to be the keynote speaker for this years Lavender Graduation celebration!

5:00-5:10 LGBTQ+ Western Awards

Awards celebrating our faculty, staff, campus partners, and LGBTQ+ Western Student Staff.

5:10-5:15 Pride Flag Raising

Our Queer Guild Club Leaders and LGBTQ+ Western staff will raise the pride flag.

5:15-5:45 Lavender Graduation Cording Ceremony

We will honor our graduating students and Legacy Lavender Grads with the cording ceremony. Graduates will take an optional group photo afterward.

5:45-7 Activites

We will have games, tie-dye, and other activities to close out our pride celebration!

2024 Lavender Graduates

Lavender Graduates

78

Total Lavender Graduates registered so far

Undergraduate

69

Students earning a Bachelors Degree

Graduate Students

9

Students earning a Masters Degree

Legacy Graduates

7

Legacy graduates are previous WWU grads who did not recieve rainbow cords when originally graduating

Our 2023-2024 Graduates

Our graduates will be added as more register!

*Students have an option to use their lived names and do not need to include their full name. Some students have opted out of their name being listed on our website.

Legacy Lavender Graduates:

Robert Ashworth Class of 78

Janet* Class of 95

Elia Barrios Class of 2020

Kyleigh Kuehnis Class of 2023

Lavender Graduates:

Cami*

Delaney*

Elizabeth*

Victoria*

Phoenix*

Janet*

Ananda*

Sol*

Shae*

Katie*

Dani Alamacen

Hillary Jazzmyn Banks

Elia Barrios

Sascha Branan

Maggie Brown

Elizabeth Card
 

Kylar Cahalan

Johnny Cook

Karlee Cowlishaw

Kyleigh Kuehnis

Alexandra Erb

Desiree Erdmann

Claire Frederick

Jaxon Frodensen

Ashelyn Holm

Rhiannon Holmes

Eleanor John

Anya Kallgren

Gabby Laipenieks

Colter Lemons

Kate Lincoln

Abi Loihl

Eden McGee

Nikolai Neff

Brenna Nieva

Kevin Nelson

Anna Olsen

Destiny Rodenberger

Nessa C Short

Peyton Smith

Q Snyder

Kaia Swanson

Victoria Vinecke

 

FAQ

This event is a combination of two important events featured at many universities, both with a history at Western.

The Western Pride Celebration is our final big event celebrating our LGBTQ+ community with the raising of the pride flag, activities like tie-dye, and more! Pride Celebration started in 2019, and we continue the tradition today!

Lavender Graduation is a ceremony celebrating LGBTQ+ graduates with a reading of names, cording ceremony, and often a speech from graduating. Lavender Graduations used to occur at Western, but stopped in the mid 2010s.

Combining the two events allows us to celebrate our grads and our larger community together!

Lavender Graduations first started at University of Michigan in 1995 by Dr. Ronni Sanlo. Sanlo had been denied the opportunity to attend her own children's graduations because of her sexual orientation. Understanding this was felt by her LGBTQ+ students, Sanlo created the first Lavender Graduation that honored three students.

Lavender was chosen because it combines the colors of the pink triangle gay men were forced to wear in concentration camps and the black triangle designating lesbians as political prisoners. We acknowledge the history of oppression LGBTQ+ have faced and the celebration of our community through Lavender Graduation.

We encourage students and guests to dress in whatever feels comfortable, identity-affirming, and whatever they feel comfortable having pictures in.

For graduates, we ask that you avoid wearing any non-WWU university or college branded items and have shirts that are appropriate to share in all WWU media for all ages.

Use this link to register!

And this link to be featured on our Instagram (WWU login required, if you don't have access to your WWU email anymore, email lgbtq@wwu.edu

Sign up using this link. Let us know if you want to be featured in the ceremony or just to get your cords at another time.

Yes! Sign up using the same registration form

The closest parking lot is Lot C, near the Wade Recreation Center.

We ask all graduates to stay until the end of the ceremony so we can get a group photo and respect other graduates. You do not need to stay for the activities, but we encourage you to!

We ask that all volunteers register by May 27th at the latest. Sooner the better! Register to volunteer here

Volunteers may be asked to:

Help set up

Help clean up

Direct people to the event

Run an activity booth like tie-dye

Support LGBTQ+ Club and guest tabling arrangements

 

We are flexible based on your avalability and your accessibility needs.