Registration for Lavender Graduation 2020 now open to LGBTQIA+ students at Iowa State


Brad Freihoefer, director of the Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success, delivers opening remarks in the beginning of the Lavender Graduation Ceremony on May 9, 2019. The ceremony celebrates the academic and collegiate achievements of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual and ally students.

Anneke Johnson

This year’s Lavender Graduation ceremony, an Iowa State tradition celebrating the achievements of LGBTQIA+ students, is right around the corner. 

The Lavender Graduation ceremony is an event at which graduating LGBTQIA+ members and allies are recognized.

“The Lavender Graduation Ceremony is one of the many traditions LGBTQIA+ students, faculty and staff have created for themselves at Iowa State,” according to the Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success website. “Each year, graduating members of the Iowa State lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and ally community are recognized during this special event. Over 200 graduates have been honored in our ceremony over the past years.”

At the event, graduates will receive a lavender and rainbow stole, like many other graduation ceremonies, as well as a special certificate from the Center.

There are no keynote speakers at Lavender Graduation, but students are given the opportunity to speak.

“Each student will have the opportunity, although not required, to publicly recognize a Cyclone Champion,” according to the Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success website. “A Cyclone Champion is someone the graduate has indicated has been critical in their journey to graduation, someone who has helped them be academically and personally successful. Graduates and attendees have indicated this portion of the program is one of the special parts that makes Lavender Graduation a unique and moving ceremony.”

The Center describes the event as “a moving and beautiful tribute to student resiliency, courage, pride, community, love, laughter and success.”

This year’s Lavender Graduation Ceremony will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. May 7 in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union.

Any student graduating in the spring, summer or fall of 2020 can be a Lavender Graduate, all they need to do is register with the Center. The event is free to participate in for graduates, and is open to the public to come and watch. Friends, family, community members, faculty, staff and administrators are all welcome to attend.

To register as a Lavender Graduate, visit the Lavender Graduation page on Iowa State’s Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success website. Fill out the provided survey with information such as your name and pronouns, as well as your contact information. The deadline to register for the 2020 ceremony is at 11:59 p.m. April 19.

The form will take approximately 10 to 20 minutes to complete, so if you do not complete the form in one sitting, the Center’s website states that it is not guaranteed that your progress will be saved. You will receive confirmation that the Center has received your registration within seven days of filling out the form, in addition to reminders and further details about the ceremony.