Lavendar ceremony celebrates LGBT students, staff, faculty and allies

The Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Resources held its second Lavender Graduation & Awards Ceremony in the Illini Union on April 30. More than 60 community members gathered to help celebrate the achievements of the LGBT campus community at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.

Awards in six categories were bestowed to nine individuals. Twenty-eight graduating LGBTA undergraduate seniors and graduate students were awarded certificates and rainbow tassels in recognition of their successful completion of a degree program.

The program also featured a slideshow of photo highlights from the past year, and remarks by 1989 alumnus Michael S. Hughes titled “Working Out: Balancing Personal and Professional Expectations.”

This year, the awards committee created two new award categories to recognize the unique achievements of several nominees. The award recipients and categories were:

  • Faculty/Staff Leadership Award: Marc Goldman, senior associate director of housing

    This award recognizes a University faculty or staff member of the LGBT campus community who is not a full-time, paid staff member of the Office for LGBT Concerns, but advances understanding and the desire to improve the climate for the LGBT campus community.

  • Ally Award: Iris Carrillo, Counseling Center graduate student, latina/o outreach coordinator

    This award recognizes a University faculty or staff member or student who provides support and progresses the LGBT campus community. (Ally is defined as someone who advocates, serves on committees, mentors and/or provides ally development for the benefit of the LGBT campus community.)

  • Emerging Leader Award: Patrick Hale, undergraduate

    This award recognizes a UIUC graduate or undergraduate member of the LGBT campus community who has great potential to be a key leader in the LGBT community.

  • Bridge Building Award: Bridget Geraghty

    This award recognizes a UIUC student, staff, or faculty member of the LGBT campus community who works to build bridges between marginalized communities and/or draws connections among various kinds of oppression.

  • Catalyst Award: Valerie Burzynski

    This award recognizes a University student, staff, or faculty member of the LGBT campus community who provides impetus for change by promoting social justice.

  • Outstanding Student Organization Award: PRIDE

    This award recognizes a University graduate or undergraduate registered student organization that has consistently made a meaningful contribution to the LGBT campus community.

  • Unsung Activist Award: Philip Reames

    This award recognizes a University student, faculty, or staff member who makes outstanding contributions to the LGBT campus and broader communities without holding an elected office within an organization.

  • Distinguished Service Award: Librarian and Bibliographers Betsy Kruger, John Littlewood, Nancy Romero & Beth Stafford

    This award recognizes an individual or individuals who make a significant, sustained contribution to the LGBT campus and broader communities community.

  • Kemp-Delisser is the assistant director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Resources office.