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NMSU?s biannual Lavender Graduation celebrates 10th ceremony

New Mexico State University's Sexual and Gender Diversity Resource Center will host the 10th biannual Lavender Graduation from 5-7 p.m. Saturday, December 6, in the NMSU Golf Course.

2014 SGDRC community graduates and members wearing the symbolic rainbow stoles during the Lavender Graduation. (NMSU photo by Virginia Hernandez)

?In the past, we have given out the Christina Chavez Kelley Award for Excellence in Service to graduating students, faculty, staff and community members. To accurately reflect the true meaning of this award, it will only be given to faculty, staff and community members (including alumni) beginning with this ceremony,? center coordinator Jessica Spohn said.

The center now has an award for the Outstanding Graduating Student, who will receive a different stole, and have their name added to the plaque that hangs in the SGDRC office. Recipients are chosen from the graduates based on nomination submissions, academic performance, leadership, and advocacy for the GLBTQ+ community. The Outstanding Graduating Students and the CCK Award recipients will be announced during the ceremony.

The Lavender Graduation consists of a four-course meal, keynote speaker, presentation of the stoles and awards, following a performance by the Singing Out Las Cruces Community Choir.

This year?s speaker is Renay Scott, president of Dona Ana Community College.

President Scott became the 9th President of Dona Ana Community College in June 2014. Scott earned her bachelor?s degree at Calvin College, master?s degree from Michigan State University and her Ph.D. from Wayne State University.

Nine students receiving their bachelor?s and one master?s student, coordinator Spohn, will participate in the ceremony.

Assistant coordinator Sendghuan Defibaugh-Chavez will serve as Spohn?s replacement.

Tickets are$20 each and can be bought online at https://shopcart.nmsu.edu/shop/sgdrc until Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. To purchase tickets or diversity stoles by cash or check, visit the Office of Student Diversity and Outreach, Garcia Annex Room 235. The public can purchase tickets or stoles for $30 to donate to the office. Donated tickets will go to low-income students.

For more information, contact the Sexual and Gender Diversity Resource Center at 575-646-7031 or sgdrc@nmsu.edu