The Queer Resource Center’s Lavender Graduation
This annual celebration recognizes the scholarship and community contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, and ally graduating seniors and graduate students. Regardless of your involvement with the QRC during your time at the Claremont Colleges, students are invited to join the QRC for the LGBTQQIAA Graduation Celebration.
Past Graduation Ceremonies
Lavender Graduation 2018
The graduates of 2018 were honored at Galileo McAlister, Harvey Mudd College on Thursday, April 26th 2018. Our keynote speaker was Jessica Valenzuela, a Pomona College Class of 2012 and CGU Class of 2018 graduate.
Lavender Graduation 2017
On Thursday, April 26th, the graduates of 2017 were honored at the Athenaeum at Claremont McKenna College. The keynote speaker was Sandra Kim (CMC ‘05). The founder of the website Everyday Feminism, Sandra Kim is committed to intersectional feminism that is focused on personal and social liberation for everyone.
Lavender Graduation 2016
The graduating class of 2016 was celebrated at Balch Auditorium at Scripps College on Thursday, April 29th. The keynote speech was delivered by Jewelle Gomez. She is a writer & activist & the author of the double Lambda Award-winning novel, The Gilda Stories from Firebrand Books. She is the recipient of a literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts; two California Arts Council fellowships & an Individual Artist Commission from the San Francisco Arts Commission. Her fiction, essays, criticism & poetry have appeared in numerous periodicals.
Lavender Graduation 2015
The Claremont Colleges’ Class of 2015 saw a record number of Lavender Graduates (61) at Benson Auditorium, Pitzer College on Friday, May 1st 2015. Our keynote speaker was Ryka Aoki, a writer, performer, and educator who has been honored by the California State Senate for her “extraordinary commitment to free speech and artistic expression, as well as the visibility and well-being of Transgender people.” In 2012, Ryka was named an Outstanding Volunteer by the LA Gay Lesbian Center’s Child, Youth, and Family Services. In 2013, Ryka was honored as a member of the “Trans 100” list as one of 100 groundbreaking trans advocates from around the country, and named as one of “11 Trans Artists of Color You Should Know in 2013” by the Huffington Post. She was a charter member of the Transgender Advisory Committee for Asian Pacific Islanders for Human Rights (APHIR). In addition to her work in advocacy for transgender people, Ryka is a professor of English at Santa Monica College and a professor of Queer Studies at Antioch University.
Read Ryka’s speech! If you have any questions about Lavender Graduation, please contact our friendly QRC Staff. See you next year!
Lavender Graduation 2014
Friday, May 2nd, 2014 at “Little Bridges” Auditorium, Pomona College
In 2014 we celebrated the accomplishments of 53 LGBTQIA graduates from across The Claremont Colleges. Our keynote speaker was Dr. Van Bailey, Director of The Office of BGLTQ Student Life at Harvard University. Noted in the Trans 100 List in 2014, Dr. Bailey holds a Doctorate in Education from California State University, Northridge. Dr. Bailey sits on the Board of the Boston Hispanic Black Gay Coalition, the Harvard Gender and sexuality Caucus, and is an active member in the Brown Boi Project, a social justice organization focused on racial and gender justice. He has shared his story of inspiration and resilience across the nation at conferences, in classrooms and public forums. Read keynote speaker Dr. Van Bailey’s speech!
Lavender Graduation 2013
This was the first year we honored graduates from all 7Cs! In 2013 Lav Grad made its way over to Harvey Mudd College to hold a beautiful ceremony at Galileo McAlister Hall on Friday, May 3, 2013. Read the speech given by Keynote Speaker Greg Rae, HMC Alumni and Trustee!
Lavender Graduation 2012
The 2012 Lavender Graduation was a great success! With an unprecedented number of students, we celebrated at Claremont McKenna College’s The Athenaeum on Friday April 27, 2012. The Keynote Speaker was Alison M. De La Cruz. Alison is a multi-disciplinary theatre artist, arts educator and cultural organizer. De La Cruz’s original performance work has been presented at venues across the country including the Kirk Douglas Theatre, the Northwest Asian American Theatre and the Asian Arts Initiative. Her solo works include LA MALONG MALONG (2011), NATURALLY GRACEFUL (2005) and SUNGKA (1999). Thank you to Alison and all of our participants.
Lavender Graduation 2011
The 2011 Lavender Graduation was held on Friday, April 29, 2011 at Scripps’s Balch Auditorium. Read Keynote Speaker Jehan Agrama’s Speech!