Salve Regina is holding its first-ever Lavender Graduation in honor of its LGBTQ+ students in the Class of 2022. The graduation ceremony will be held on Friday, May 6, at 11 a.m. in Ochre Court. Following the ceremony, there will be a reception with refreshments. The dress code is formal for students and business attire for staff and faculty, and the Salve Regina community is invited to attend.
“A Lavender Graduation is a tradition that originated in my home state … at the University of Michigan,” explained Kathleen Joyce ’22, president of the Alliance, which is a student organization that creates a safe space for LGBTQ+ students on campus. “It is a moment for us to celebrate the queer community and allies specifically and congratulate on their success over the four years.”
The Alliance works closely with Salve Regina’s LGBTQ+ Center, which is new as of the 2021-22 academic year, and one of the focuses of the center is to provide a space where students can feel safe to go. The LGBTQ+ Center provides many resources in addition to hosting events where students can attend and meet other people who are also in the LGBTQ+ community.
The Lavender Graduation is a natural way to extend support to graduating LGBTQ+ seniors, according to Bailey Catizone ’23, a music major and treasurer of the Alliance. The Alliance members hope that Salve Regina will come support the LGBTQ+ seniors on Friday.
“Lavender Graduation is important because Salve prides itself on its critical concerns of mercy, and one of the critical concerns of mercy is nonviolence,” said Catizone. “One way that we can bring nonviolence and peace to Salve is by holding a celebration for a group of people that have historically been shunned …. There are so many people in this community who have been targets of violence, and it is important to show that Salve will never be one of those places.”
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Featured photo by Getty Images/Cristina Moliner