On April 28, 2022, Salem State University held its inaugural Lavender Graduation, celebrating LGBTQIA+ Vikings graduating in the 2021-2022 academic year. A now national tradition that began in 1995 by Ronni Sanlo EdD, Lavender Graduation is an annual ceremony conducted at numerous colleges and universities to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual students and to acknowledge their achievements and contributions to the campus.
Hosted by the Center for Justice and Liberation, the program began with remarks from President John Keenan, Provost David Silva, and Interim Dean of Students Lauren Hubacheck. Megs Ricci '22, treasurer of The Alliance, was selected as the 2022 Lavender Student Speaker. Hope Freeman, senior director of the LGBT Center and Interim Director of the Women's Center at Tufts University, was this year's Honored Guest, offering the inaugural Lavender Keynote. The Lavender Graduation and Cording Ceremony was lead by LGBTQIA+ Coordinator Sam Lim '22G.
In addition to honoring our graduates, multiple faculty and administrators were recognized during the program for their support and advocacy of the LGBTQIA+ community on campus. The Dr. Patricia A. Gozemba Award is given to a Salem State University community member who has been supportive and served as a role model to the LGBTQIA+ community. Recipients are nominated by students and chosen by a selection committee of students and administrators. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the award had not been presented since 2019. Alliane Brennan '19G, Program Coordinator for Campus Life and Recreation, was honored as the 2020 Recipient. Interim Dean of Students Lauren Hubacheck was honored as the 2021 Recipient. And Associate Professor Steven Oliver was honored as the 2022 Recipient.
Salem State University congratulates all of our Lavender graduates and award recipients! For questions about LGBTQIA+ programs and services on campus, please contact Sam Lim, LGBTQIA+ Coordinator.
Office of Inclusive Excellence