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Lavender Graduation

Lavender Graduation is an LGBTQ* graduation celebration founded at the University of Michigan by Dr. Ronni Sanlo in 1995. In the years since then, Lavender Graduation has spread to several 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.

Commencement Picture

The 9th Annual Lavender Graduation


Congratulations to the class of 2023!

On behalf of LGBTQ* Services, we would like to honor the class of 2023 for your resilience, willingness, and boldness in conquering your goals. Thank you for the fond memories and being there for us. We cannot wait to celebrate you and your accomplishments. 

Graduates from all academic backgrounds and levels are invited and encouraged, to participate in the ceremony. Graduates of December of 2022 are also invited to participate. During the ceremony, all graduates will receive a rainbow stole that they may also wear to Commencement.

If you stated in the registration form that you cannot make it to the ceremony but are still interested in receiving a rainbow stole, then we will reach out to you as the event approaches with more information about when stoles will be available for pickup from the LGBTQ* Center (above West Side Dining).

Please, come and join us to celebrate you and all of your accomplishments by registering using the button below no later than Friday, May 5th, at 11:59 PM.

Sign Up

LGBTQ* Services Lavender Graduation Video

As part of the Lavender Graduation Ceremony, we'd love to include photos, videos, messages, and memories from you! Within the registration form, you will have the opportunity to share anything you'd want us to include in a video montage of the graduating class of 2023! Feel free to include a video message if you want to offer shout-outs to those who helped you in your journey or congratulate the other graduates. Please keep any video clips under 30 seconds long!

We ask that while you're sharing your highlights you be mindful and respectful of other people's identities, experiences, and privacy. If you are submitting a video or photos that include people aside from yourself, please obtain consent from all pictured (even in the background)!

Please submit your photos and/or videos by emailing them to with the subject line "Lavender Graduation Photos."

All media submissions must be received by Friday, April 28, 2023, at 11:59 PM in order to be included in the Lavender Graduation presentation.

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.

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

  • Elevated the experiences of LGBTQ* people and/or communities
  • Helped to improve campus or community policies affecting LGBTQ* people and/or communities
  • Enhanced visibility and awareness of LGBTQ* topics, issues, and/or concerns

For nominations to be considered, please complete and submit nominations using the link below by Friday, May 5, 2023, at 11:59 PM.  
Self-nominations are welcome and encouraged!

The awards will be given during our Lavender Graduation Celebration on May 18th.

Award Nomination

Class Speaker

Speakers are a special part of any commencement ceremony. In addition to some amazing faculty and staff members who will be helping us celebrate the Class of 2023, we are looking for graduating Graduate and Undergraduate students to share a few words of wisdom at the event.

If you are interested in being the Undergraduate or Graduate Class Speaker at the 2023 Lavender Graduation Ceremony, please submit an application at the link below, by Friday, May 5, 2023, at 11:59 PM with your transcript of the speech.

Speaker Application