UVA to commemorate 'historically marginalized' grads with special graduations

The University of Virginia plans to hold a 'Lavender Graduation' on May 16, accompanied by a 'Multicultural Graduation' on May 17.

UVA reportedly spends nearly $20 million on DEI staff and student positions each year.

A leading public university in Charlottesville, Virginia is hosting several identity-based graduations this May.

The University of Virginia plans to hold a “Lavender Graduation” on May 16, accompanied by a “Multicultural Graduation” on May 17. 

[RELATED: Middlebury’s Lavender Graduation to be ‘final ode’ to ‘perseverance’ of LGBT graduates]

The school’s Multicultural Student Services (MSS) is organizing the Multicultural Graduation on campus at the Newcomb Ballroom. As part of its mission, MSS oversees various identity-based centers such as the Latinx Student Center and the LGBTQ Center, while also offering “programs and services to promote the holistic success and wellbeing of historically marginalized students,” according to its website.

The LGBTQ Center is overseeing the Lavender Graduation, which will serve as “a space to honor graduating undergraduate and graduate LGBTQIA+ students,” the event’s web page states. “This annual event is a celebration that recognizes LGBTQIA+ students and acknowledges their achievements and contributions to the University community.” 

The university’s first Lavender Graduation took place in 2009.

In addition to the Lavender Graduation, the LGBTQ Center at UVA offers other LGBT-themed programs. 

In October, the center released a list of “affinity groups” for LGBTQ-identifying students. For instance, the “Aro/Ace Space” group is for those who identify as aromantic or asexual, while the “Sapphic Circle” is a group for “Lesbian/bi/queer women/women-aligned students.”

[RELATED: NC State to hold separate graduation for ‘Multicultural’ students of ‘diverse backgrounds’]

As Campus Reform reported in March, OpenTheBooks.com found that UVA has a substantial budget dedicated to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), spending nearly $20 million on DEI staff and student positions each year.

Campus Reform contacted the University of Virginia, Multicultural Student Services, and the LGBTQ Center for comment. This story will be updated accordingly.