Lavender Graduation

At the University of Florida, the Office of LGBTQ+ Student Engagement organizes the annual Lavender Graduation ceremony with the support of other campus partners. Undergraduate and graduate students who identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and are graduating in the year of the ceremony (Fall or Spring Semester) are eligible to RSVP. The ceremony includes dinner, provided by the University, as well as a short program featuring a keynote speaker and the recognition of graduating students.  

This year, Lavender's Graduation will be held on Monday, April 22nd, from 6 PM to 8 PM in the Reitz Union Grand Ballroom.

All individuals hoping to attend the Lavender Graduation ceremony must submit the RSVP form by Wednesday, April 10th, 2024, at 5 PM. 

The RSVP form link can be located here: Lavender Graduation RSVP


You are also encouraged to apply or nominate considerations for our Lavender Awards! Lavender Awards are an opportunity to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of the LGBTQ+ and ally communities at the University of Florida. We will be accepting nominations until Wednesday, April 10th, 2024, at 5 PM for the following awards:




Learn more about the Lavender Awards in our FAQ Section! You are welcome to submit nominations for the Lavender Awards at this link: Lavender Awards Nominations 


Please do not hesitate to contact Program Director, Jamir Wright, with any questions, comments, or concerns at

History of Lavender Graduation 

Lavender Graduation is an annual event to celebrate the achievements and contributions of graduating LGBTQ+ and ally students. The ceremony is held in addition to traditional commencement services and allows for a more communal and affirming environment for attendees. Dr. Ronni Sanlo, a UF alum, is credited with holding the first Lavender Graduation Ceremony in 1995, at the University of Michigan while serving as the Director of their LGBT Campus Resource Center.  

“My vision is that Lavender Graduation will be an annual celebration at every college and university in the country and that the lives of our LGBT students will be fully honored. Since LGBT students are of every race, ability, nationality, gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic levels, Lavender Graduation provides a unique opportunity to present a truly multicultural event while acknowledging students who spent most of their college years succumbing to invisibility on their campuses.” – Dr. Sanlo, 1996 

More than 20 years after the initial Lavender Graduation, Dr. Sanlo’s vision comes closer to reality with over 500 universities and colleges across the nation have organized their own Lavender Graduation ceremony. Historically, “lavender” as a term and color have been synonymous with queerness and the LGBTQ+ community. Students often receive lavender diplomas, stoles, cords, or tassels as part of their recognition at the ceremony.  

Frequently Asked Questions