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The 6th Annual (Virtual) Lavender Graduation 2020


Lavender Graduation is a LGBTQ* graduation celebration that was founded at University of Michigan by Dr. Ronni Sanlo in 1995. In the years since then, Lavender Graduation has spread to a number of Universities and Colleges around the country. Dr. Sanlo intended to create an event that would bring together LGBTQ* students for a chance to celebrate each other, their hard work and their achievements. 

Here at Stony Brook University, LGBTQ* Services hosts an annual Lavender Graduation ceremony. The event takes place during the month of May after finals have concluded and serves to honor all LGBTQ* graduating students, celebrate their time at Stony Brook, and recognize them for their contributions to the University community. 

To the Class of 2020 from LGBTQ* Services

This year has truly been one for the history books. Your graduating class has proven to be resilient, adaptable, and dedicated to completing your studies even in the most trying of times. Prior to the University's transition to virtual spaces, we at LGBTQ* Services had the privilege of sharing space with you and and being part of your Stony Brook University journey.  Thank you class of 2020 for that honor, our campus has been changed by your presence. We cannot wait to celebrate you and all of your accomplishments at this year's Lavender Graduation. 

LGBTQ* Services Lavender Graduation Video

This year we'll be creating a virtual yearbook and debuting it during the ceremony on May 21st!  Registration to be included in the presentation has closed, but if you are interested in    joining in on the celebration, please email us at

To respect the privacy and safety of our students, we will be privately sharing the video link with those who have signed up to join us, and those who they invited to celebrate with them. 

*Note: Rainbow stoles will not be available until we return back to campus.

LGBTQ* Advocacy Awards

Every year, the LGBTQ* Advocacy Award honors individuals for their contributions to advocacy on behalf of LGBTQ* communities at Stony Brook University. There will be separate awards for undergraduates and graduate students of the year's graduating class as well as a faculty or staff member.

Individuals who have contributed in one or more of the following ways are eligible for consideration:

  • Elevated the status of LGBTQ*-identified persons and/or allies.
  • Helped to improve campus or community policies affecting LGBTQ*-identified persons.
  • Enhanced visibility and awareness of LGBTQ* issues.

The awards will be given during our Virtual Lavender Graduation Celebration on May 21st. 


Speakers are a special part of any commencement ceremony. LGBTQ* Services has invited faculty and staff that have impacted LGBTQ* communities throughout the year to present. This year we have the pleasure of hearing from the following speakers. 

Welcome - Maylene Navarra, Graduate Coordinator, LGBTQ* Services, Class of 2020 Masters of Public Health

Dean of Student's Address - Dr. Richard Gatteau, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Honoring Our Mentors - Dr. Crystal Fleming, Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies

Presentation of the Advocacy Awards - Dr. Jarvis Watson, Assistant Dean of Students - Student Support Team

Closing - Chris Tanaka, Assistant Director of LGBTQ* Services


General Commencement Frequently Asked Questions

View the Full University Commencement Program