Lavender Graduation has been at EIU for only 10 years, but it started over 15 years ago at the University of Michigan.
Dr. Ronni Sanlo is a Jewish Lesbian who was denied the opportunity to attend the graduation for children because she is a lesbian. Through that pain, Dr. Sanlo started the first Lavender Graduation Ceremony in 1995 with encouragement from the Dean of Students. Lavender Graduation included both undergraduate students and graduate students alike.
Since 2011, EIU has had a Lavender Graduation to honor the GSD and ally students who are graduating with either their baccalaureate or master's degree.
Our ceremony takes place on the Friday before the spring university commencement at 7PM.
We encourage all GSD and ally students graduating in either that spring or the following fall semester to participate in Lavender Graduation.