Lavender graduation ceremonies began in 1995 on the campus of the University of Michigan and have since expanded to universities around the country. The color lavender is significant to LGBTQIA+ history and represents a combination of the pink triangle that gay men were forced to wear in concentration camps and the black triangle designating lesbians as political prisoners in Nazi Germany. The LGBTQIA+ civil rights movement took these symbols of hatred and combined them to make a symbol and color of pride and community.

VCU is one of 93 U.S. colleges and universities to hold lavender graduations and has recognized more than 200 graduates since the first ceremony was held in 2012.


To participate, please register by April 18. Attendance is free for you and up to three guests. December 2016 and August 2017 graduates and their guests also are invited to attend.