Lavender Graduation

An Annual Celebration of our LGBTQ & Ally Students

Lavender Graduation is a special ceremony for LGBTQ and Ally undergraduate and graduate students to acknowledge their achievements, contributions, and unique experiences at Georgetown University. Each year, we bring back a distinguished Hoya alum to serve as our Keynote speaker, and the ceremony has grown to be a signature event that celebrates all of the Hoya community. As President Jack DeGioia says, the ceremony now “marks the beginning of the Commencement season” on the Hilltop.   The ceremony now includes the Main Campus, the Georgetown Law Center, the Medical School, and the School of Continuing Studies. 

Please visit our Archives to read more. 


Save the Date

Thursday, April 25, 2019
Great Room, Healey Family Student Center
Ceremony: 5:00pm - 7:00pm 
Reception: 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Class of 2019 Registration: To register to participate in this year's Lavender Graduation, visit

Family, friends, faculty, staff RSVP: To RSVP to attend this year's Lavender Graduation as a guest, visit

2019 Lavender Graduation Awards: For more information about this year's awards, visit To nominate graduating seniors, staff, and faculty for awards, visit


Lavender Graduation builds on the university-wide commencement events as an officially supported ceremony celebrating and recognizing the contributions and achievements of our LGBTQ and ally seniors to the Georgetown community. The event is held prior to the academic commencement ceremony to facilitate underclassmen participation before the conclusion of the academic year.

The tradition of Lavender Graduation began at the University of Michigan in 1995 with just three graduates. Dr. Ronni Sanlo, then Director of the University of Michigan LGBT Campus Resource Center, coordinated the first Lavender Graduation in order to acknowledge the achievements of LGBTQ graduates. By 2001, there were over 45 institutions were holding Lavender Graduation Ceremonies and the tradition continues to expand to additional colleges and universities across the country.

The color lavender plays a historic role in LGBTQ history and in the community. It's a combination of the colors pink and black, which were once used to identify and discriminate against gays and lesbians. The LGBTQ community has reclaimed lavender as symbol of pride and community.

Lavender graduation awards

Commitment to the LGBTQ Community

Recognizes excellence in leadership and service to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning communities at Georgetown University.

  • Open to any graduating senior
  • Proven and documented leadership and service on campus to the LGBTQ community
  • Inspires and motivates others in their actions to create a better campus community
  • Contributes to furthering the visibility and impact of the LGBTQ community on campus and the broader Georgetown community through words and actions
  • Strives to foster and encourage solidarity and coalition building within the LGBTQ community

Past Award Winners​

  • 2018: Grace Smith
  • 2017: Caitlin Opperman
  • 2016: Eric Nevalsky
  • 2015: Meghan Ferguson and Thomas Lloyd
  • 2014: J Capecchi
  • 2013: Lisa Kaye Frank
  • 2012: Allie Villareal

LGBTQ Leadership Beyond the Gates

Recognizes excellence to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning communities beyond Georgetown University.

  • Open to any graduating senior
  • Proven and documented leadership, activism, and service off campus to the LGBTQ community
  • Involvement with local, national and/or global organizations or causes rooted in education, service, and advocacy for LGBTQ initiatives
  • Strives to engage the campus community in dialogues and action around LGBTQ issues locally, nationally, and globally

Past Award Winners

  • 2018: Zack Frial
  • 2017: Carlo Izzo
  • 2016: Alexis Dever
  • 2015: Craig Cassey Jr.
  • 2014: T. Chase Meacham
  • 2013: N. Zenen Jaimes Peréz
  • 2012: Tanisha Humphrey

LGBTQ Bridge Builder

Recognizes excellence and commitment in building connections between  the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning community and broader student life at Georgetown.

  • Open to any graduating senior
  • Proven and documented leadership and service on campus between other organizations, offices, and departments and the LGBTQ community
  • Demonstrates commitment in integrating multiple identities in a mindful, purposeful way that engages the campus community in new perspectives
  • Recognizes the intersections of marginalized identities and encourages coalition building on campus

​Past Award Winners

  • 2018: Luiggy Vidal
  • 2017: Luke Brown
  • 2016: Queen Adesuyi
  • 2015: Esteban García
  • 2014: Carly Rosenfield
  • 2013: Francisco J. Gutierrez
  • 2012: Adam Talbot

Outstanding Champion to the Community

Recognizes the courage to work for equity and equality for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning communities at Georgetown University.

  • Open to any graduating senior 
  • Demonstrated strong allyship to LGBTQ communities at Georgetown
  • Committed to raising awareness and promoting social justice causes on behalf of LGBTQ communities
  • Has actively worked to make campus safer for LGBTQ individuals
  • Spearheaded initiatives or programs in support of the LGBTQ community at Georgetown

Past Award Winners

  • 2018: Laura Padilla Perez
  • 2017: Ghensis Mendez
  • 2016: Candace Milner
  • 2015: Adriana Zinn
  • 2014: Kat Kelley
  • 2013: Vail Kohnert-Yount
  • 2012: Anne Musica

Staff & Faculty Commitment to the LGBTQ Community

Recognizes the leadership, visionm and commitment of a staff and faculty member to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, andQuestioning communities at Georgetown University. Two awards will be given - one for faculty and one for staff.

  • Open to any staff and faculty member working at Georgetown's Main Campus (Medical School, Law School, SCS are not eligible)
  • Proven long term or reoccurring dedication to supporting and advocating for LGBTQ individuals and initiatives on campus
  • Contributes to educating campus community around LGBTQ issues and creating seamless learning environments

Past Award Winners

  • 2018: Samuel Aronson and Dana Luciano
  • 2017: Jennifer Wiggins and You-me Park
  • 2016: Daviree Velazquez and Maya Roth
  • 2015: Bridget Sherry-Laizer and Rabbi Rachel Gartner
  • 2014: Madeline Vitek and Susan Lynskey
  • 2013: Erika Cohen Derr and Fr. Patrick Rogers
  • 2012: Officer Elizabeth Feindrich
  • 2011: Bill McCoy and Ricardo Ortiz
  • 2010: Danielle DeSilvis
  • 2009: Natsu Onoda Power and Fr. Phil Boroughs, S.J.
Celebrating 10 years of lavender graduation