Emaly Allison

Lavender Graduation is a celebration hosted by colleges and universities across the world. It was originally started by Dr. Ronni Sanlo in 1995 after being denied to attend her families graduations because of her sexual orientation. During our Lavender Graduation, we celebrated a handful of LGBTQ+ students with speakers, food, and more to show our appreciation of them in conjunction with the newly formed Inclusion & Dialogue Center. 
1) Why was bringing this project/event important to bring to Emory & Henry College?
The LGBTQ+ community at Emory & Henry has always kept to the shadows on campus. For all students, it is important to celebrate achievements like finishing college but especially for those of the LGBTQ+ community who may not have that same supportive home life  or friend group. Lavender graduation allowed to celebrate those students and honor their achievements in a safe, welcoming environment.
2)What did you get out of this project/event?
I got the joy of being able to provide a special ceremony designed solely to honor members of the community I work to support everyday here on campus.
3)What are your goals for this initiative? 
My hopes are that Lavender Graduation will continue at Emory & Henry for several years to come and will become a permanent tradition.
“When all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.”– Barack Obama


History & Civic Innovation


Hendersonville, NC

Class year


Title of Event or Project

Lavender Graduation
  • emaly at fall meet and greet
    emaly at fall meet and greet