Greater Boston PFLAG President, Dr. Thomas Bourdon ’98 gave Keynote Address

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The Babson community celebrated graduating lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and ally students at the second annual campus Lavender Graduation ceremony during Commencement week.

Dr. Thomas Bourdon '98, president of Greater Boston PFLAG, served as Babson's inaugural Lavender Graduation keynote speaker.

Babson also presented the first annual Pride Awards to staff, faculty, alumni, and friends of the college who made significant contributions to Babson and/or the greater LGBTQ community.

Pride Awards

The Pride Awards honored the contributions of Babson community members from all parts of campus.  The 2014 winners 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 

Keynote Address

Bourdon shared his personal story of self-discovery, and gave graduates the following advice:
  • I cannot encourage you enough to live your life with honesty and integrity. Be your true, authentic-self, and be proud of who you are.
  • Keep in mind that money is not the most important thing in life. Relationships are. Go out there and be a good person, and an honest person. Show people that you care.
  • Recognize your privilege, and use it for good. We all hold different forms of privilege, whether it’s based on our gender, race, the families we came from, the amount of money in our bank accounts. Recognize where you have privilege—own it, understand it, and understand where others don’t have it, and use your privilege to help others so that we might see more equity in this world.
  • Treat everyone with respect.
  • Do not burn bridges.
  • Give your life meaning and purpose. One great way to do this do this is by finding a way to help change the world for the better.
  • You are amazing people with beautiful spirits, so go make us proud.

About Babson’s LGBTQ Action Group

Babson’s LGBTQ Action Group is comprised of faculty, staff, alumni, undergraduate and graduate students who are actively advancing Babson's standing as a welcoming community for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning individuals and their allies.

About Lavender Graduation

Dr. Ronni Sanlo created the first Lavender Graduation at the University of Michigan in 1995. Inspired by her own experience as a Jewish lesbian, she developed a ceremony that celebrates LGBTQ and ally students and acknowledges their contributions and achievements to the campus community. The event is similar to the many graduation ceremonies that celebrate graduates from different ethnicities or campus affiliations. There were three graduates in attendance in that first year; today, there are over 90 Lavender Graduations being held at colleges and universities nationwide, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds™. The College is a dynamic living and learning laboratory, where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society—while at the same time evolving our methods and advancing our programs. We shape the leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to create economic and social value. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value

By Lindsey Cunningham,, 781-239-4548 | 06/09/2014 10:30