Lavender Graduation is an annual ceremony conducted on numerous college campuses to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally students and to acknowledge their achievements and contributions to the University.
The Lavender Graduation Ceremony was created by Ronni Sanlo, a Jewish Lesbian, who 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, Sanlo designed the first Lavender Graduation Ceremony in 1995.
That first ceremony took place at the University of Michigan with three graduates. By 2001, there were more than 45 Lavender Graduation ceremonies at colleges and universities nationwide.
Graduating students, including undergraduates and graduates, are invited to take part in the celebration.