Lavender ceremony honors LGBT students

The second annual Lavender Recognition Ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, in College Hall in the South 40 House.

Co-hosted by LGBT Student Involvement and Leadership and the Social Justice Center, the ceremony honors the achievements and contributions of graduating lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students and their allies.

Lavender recognition ceremonies originated in 1995 at the University of Michigan and were created by Ronni Sanlo, EdD, then-director of Michigan’s Office of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Affairs.

The color lavender is important in LGBT history. It is a combination of the pink triangle that gay men were forced to wear in concentration camps and the black triangle designating lesbians as political prisoners in Nazi Germany. The LGBT civil rights movement took these symbols of hatred and combined them to make symbols and color of pride and community.

WUSTL’s Lavender Recognition Ceremony will include an introduction by keynote speaker, Anna Warbelow, art history PhD candidate in the College of Arts & Sciences and fellow at the Center for the Humanities.

Warbelow also serves as an adviser to Pride Alliance, a WUSTL undergraduate LGBT organization. Remarks by students Brook McKeown and Jenea Nixon will follow the keynote address.

Jill Carnaghi, associate vice chancellor for students and dean of campus life, and Georgia Binnington, associate dean of students at the Sam Fox School, will present lavender honor cords to seniors who identify as LGBT or as an ally to the LGBT community.

A reception will follow the event.

To register for the ceremony, visit

For more information, contact Saida Bonifield, coordinator for LGBT Student Involvement and Leadership, at