The Lavender Graduation Celebration is a special cultural celebration that honors graduating LGBTQ Bearkats. In 2016, SHSU was proud to become one of about 150 universities nationwide to offer Lavender Graduation, and the fifth university in Texas to do so. It does not replace the main commencement ceremony; rather, it is an additional event designed to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements and contributions of these students to the university. Graduating students, including undergraduates and graduate students, are invited to take part in the celebration which occurs twice each year (December and May). The ceremony itself features guest speakers, entertainment, certificates, honors cords, and refreshments.
Why have a Lavender Graduation Celebration? For decades, students at colleges and universities around the country have been celebrating both their academic achievements and their cultural heritages at specialized commencement events. These events provide a sense of community for minority students. For many students they are the payoff for staying in school, and friends and families find the smaller, more cultural ceremonies both meaningful and personal. Through such recognition LGBTQ+ students may leave the university with a positive final experience of SHSU. Lavender Graduation is an event where LGBTQ+ students not only share their hopes and dreams with one another, but where they are officially recognized by SHSU for their leadership and their successes and achievements.