Skip Navigation LinksHome / About Babson / Diversity / LGBTQ / LGBTQ Events / Lavender Graduation
LGBTQ header

Lavender Graduation & PRIDE AWARDS

Babson Lavender Graduation

Lavender Graduation is a celebration honoring LGBTQ and ally students and recognizing their achievements and contributions to the college. Babson Pride Award recipients are also honored at the ceremony.​

The 3rd annual Babson Lavender Graduation Celebration & Award Ceremony was held on Thursday, April 30, 2015 in the Glavin Family Chapel. 

Babson Pride Awards

At Babson, we choose this day to also honor staff, faculty, alumni, and friends of the college who have made significant contributions to Babson and/or the greater LGBTQ community through the Pride Awards. Our 2015 honorees were:

Undergraduate: Matthew Hard '17
Graduate: Phil Pinson M’15
Staff: Jason Salzenstein, Senior Instructional & Curriculum Designer
Faculty: Robert Turner DBA., ​Associate Professor of Accounting
Alumni & Friends: Thomas Bourdon '98, Ed.D

Our 2014 honorees were:

Undergraduate: Christian Lewis ’13, Natalie Cullings ’14
Graduate: Christine Yoon M’15
Staff: Jamie Kendrioski, Director of International Student & Scholar Services
Faculty: Toni Lester, Ph.D., Professor of Law, Culture and Society
Alumni & Friends: Richard Babson

Pride Award winner Natalie Cullings also served as the student speaker for the 2014 commencement ceremony, sharing her beliefs about entrepreneurship and diversity at Babson.

2014 Lavender Graduation

We were honored to welcome Dr. Thomas Bourdon ’98, president of Greater Boston PFLAG, as Babson’s first Lavender Graduation keynote speaker.

In a moving speech, Tom shared his own personal story and gave the graduates advice for the future, including:

  • Live your life with honesty and integrity.
  • Be your true, authentic-self, and be proud of who you are.
  • Recognize your privilege, and use it for good.
  • Treat everyone with respect.
  • Do not burn bridges.
  • Give your life meaning and purpose.

He closed with this final instruction: “You are amazing people with beautiful spirits, so go make us proud.” You can read the full text of Tom’s speech here. (pdf)

About Lavender Graduation

The Lavender Graduation Ceremony was created by Dr. Ronni Sanlo, a Jewish lesbian, who was denied the opportunity to attend the graduations of her biological children because of her sexual orientation. Encouraged by the Dean of Students, Dr. Sanlo held the first Lavender Graduation Ceremony ever at the University of Michigan in 1995, with three graduates in attendance. Today there are over 90 Lavender Graduations being held at colleges and universities nationwide, according to the HRC.

The color lavender is a combination of the pink triangle that gay men were forced to wear in concentration camps and the black triangle which, according to some, was used to designate lesbians as political prisoners in Nazi Germany. The LGBT civil rights movement took these symbols of hatred and combined them as a color and symbol of pride and community.