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Lavender Graduation 2013
LGBT students posing for camera at dinner

Lavender Graduation

About Lavender Graduation

Each Spring, the LGBTQ Center hosts a Lavender Graduation to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally students to acknowledge their achievements and contributions to UNF and/or the Jacksonville community. High School Seniors, Undergraduate and Graduate students are eligible to participate in the ceremony if they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or as an ally of the LGBT community and are graduating in Spring 2021, Summer 2021, Fall 2021, and Spring 2022.


Lavender Graduation was started by UNF Alum Dr. Ronni Sanlo in 1995. From a single program with only three graduates, Lavender Graduation has since grown into an annual tradition celebrated by Colleges and Universities across the nation. Participating students receive a lavender cord to be worn with their regalia at the UNF commencement, and attend a small ceremony with the option of choosing a UNF faculty member to say a few words. To learn more about the LGBTQ Center and Lavender Graduation, watch our video.


Graduating? Register Here for Lavender Graduation


During Lavender Graduation, the LGBTQ Center honors LGBTQ allies and organizations for their support and contributions at the University and beyond. LGBT Ally Award categories are: Student Leadership, Faculty & Staff, Campus Department, Community Excellence, and Mentor of the Year. For more information, please contact Dwan Love-Dinkens at


Student Leadership Recipients
2018-2019: FCPC 2019 Planning Committee
2017-2018: Elaine Hosking
2016-2017: Haiden Baier
2015-2016: Christopher Jordan
2014-2015: Kyle Gibbons

Faculty & Staff Recipients
2018-2019: Dr. Mandi N. Barringer
2017-2018: Dr. Carolyne Ali-Khan
2016-2017: Andrea Adams-Manning, Michelle Adams-Manning
2015-2016: Catherine Cole
2014-2015: Dr. Zully Rivera-Ramos

Campus Department Recipients
2018-2019: The Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work
2017-2018: The International Studies Program
2016-2017: UNF Registrar's Office
2015-2016: Project THRIVE
2014-2015: Housing and Residence Life

Community Excellence Recipients
2018-2019: CAN Community Health
2017-2018: Community Rehabilitation Center
2016-2017: Amber Paoloemilio
2015-2016: Rico Bodin

Mentor of the Year Recipients
2018-2019: Jason Zellers, Blue Cross Blue Shield
2017-2018: Andrew Austin, Mayo Clinic LGBTI Employee Resource Group