The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus at Virginia Tech is sponsoring the Second Annual Lavender Commencement Ceremony, which will be held on May 13 at 11 a.m. in the Old Dominion Ballroom of Squires Student Center.

The ceremony will recognize lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual students and their allies from all majors, both graduate and undergraduates, who earned their degrees this spring.

“This is an opportunity for our community to celebrate accomplishments and to honor the successes of our LGBT students at a university-supported event,” said Jean Elliott, co-chair of the caucus.

The caucus will also hand out two awards, including a scholarship to an undergraduate who has made contributions to the LGBT community through leadership, service, volunteering, or research.

“We are proud to sponsor our second $500 scholarship and to honor another member of the university community with our esteemed "Ally of the Year" award,” said caucus co-chair Ken Belcher.

The keynote speaker for this year’s event will be Virginia Tech alumnus Tom Brobson, a 1982 graduate of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. Brobson, a former member of the LGBT Caucus, served as Virginia Tech's Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations from 2000-05 and currently oversees major donor relations for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. With his partner, he also owns and operates Clover Hollow Christmas Tree Farm in Newport, Va.

In addition, faculty members Ann Kilkelly, a professor in the Department of Theatre and Cinema, and Carol Burch-Brown, a professor in the School of Visual Arts, will add a special touch of the arts to the celebration.

The Lavender Commencement Ceremony is for those students who identify with the LGBT community; who will graduate in May with either an undergraduate or graduate degree; and their families, faculty, staff, and allies. Graduates are asked to have a mentor speak on their behalf.

Graduating participants should register before April 30 at the LGBT Caucus website with your name, major, the person speaking in your honor, and the approximate number of guests attending. Participating students will be awarded a unique rainbow cord that can be worn with academic regalia. A reception will follow the ceremony.

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