The Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity Presents:

The 12th Annual & Virtual

Lavender Graduation & Pride Awards

April 22, 2021 at 5:00pm

 RSVP here to attend the event

The Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity at the University of Kansas is proud to invite you to attend the 12th Annual Lavender Graduation & Pride Awards Ceremony on April 22nd at 5:00pm via zoom. Each year Lavender Graduation brings together the QT community and our allies to celebrate the successes of our KU graduates, scholarship recipients, and Pride Award winners. This year, our keynote speaker will be Dr. Ronni Sanlo. Dr. Sanlo is recognized as one of the first LGBTQ Resource Professionals in the United States and she created the very first Lavender Graduation 26 years ago at the University of Michigan.


Pride Award Nominations

Nominations close: 4/7/2021

Pride Awards at KU were established as a way to recognize the accomplishments of LGBTQIA+ students, faculty and staff, as well as the advancements and efforts made to benefit LGBTQIA+ members of the KU community.

Be You at KU Student of the Year Award

Recognizes one student for outstanding leadership and commitment within the University of Kansas or in the Lawrence community. This student exemplifies the merit and importance of allyship and solidarity within the KU LGBTQIA+ community. This individual's efforts and service have resulted in new programs, improved resources and/or broadened awareness around the needs and experiences of the LGBTQIA+ community. This student serves as a role model to their peers and demonstrates dedication to LGBTQIA+ activism, leadership, advocacy, or education.

Christopher M. Sowa Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award

The Outstanding Faculty/Staff award is dedicated to Chris Sowa (1979-2016) who expended incredible energy and enthusiasm for the KU LGBTQIA+ community in his role as Assistant Director of KU Student Housing, his membership in the Sexuality and Gender Diversity Faculty/Staff Council, and as a proud and authentic member of the LGBTQIA+ community. Sowa was always wherever you needed him to be if it meant championing for LGBTQIA+ students. The impact he made on all who knew him, and those who will come to know him through the legacy he has left, is unparalleled.

The Christopher M. Sowa Faculty/Staff Pride Award r
ecognizes an LGBTQIA+ or Ally faculty/staff member who strives to create a positive climate on campus for LGBTQIA+ individuals. This may be through inclusive curriculum practices, challenging procedures and policies, building awareness around LGBTQIA+ experiences in programming or education efforts, or for going beyond their area of focus to ensure the KU LGBTQIA+ community is offered a brave and inclusive space to be their authentic selves.

Best Program/Initiative Award

This award recognizes a program or initiative that has strengthened awareness, expanded education or improved resources for the LGBTQIA+ community. A program or initiative may be a policy addition, program execution, major decision or other measure which has served the LGBTQIA+ community at The University of Kansas.

Outstanding Alum Award

This award recognizes a former Jayhawk who has demonstrated dedication to LGBTQIA+ awareness and inclusivity, at KU or in the community where they live and work. This individual displays immense pride in being a Jayhawk and serves as a model for current and future KU alums.

Groundbreaking LGBTQIA+ Research Award 

Recognizes groundbreaking or innovative research about or in support of the LGBTQIA+ community. This can be research that is currently in progress, completed, or published. Being published is not a requirement of this award. 

(Please submit one nomination form per nominee, there is no limit to the number of nominations you may submit)



Students who have been awarded an SGD scholarship for the 2021-2022 school year have the option to celebrated during the Lavender Graduation Celebration. The deadline for this scholarship cycle was 3/31/2021.