Each year the GSC celebrates the end of the academic year by recognizing the unique accomplishments of LGBTQIA+ graduates. The purpose of the event is to recognize the unique journey LGBTQIA+ graduates face while navigating the higher education experience. At Carleton, this event is called the Gender & Sexuality Center Senior Celebration.

GSC senior celebration


The GSC Senior Celebration is similar to Lavender Graduation ceremonies held at other institutions. The history of events like this originated when Dr. Ronni Sanlo was denied the opportunity to attend the graduation ceremonies of her biological children because of her sexual orientation. With encouragement from the Dean of Students Office at University of Michigan, Sanlo coordinated the very first Lavender Graduation Ceremony in 1995. Since then over a hundred institutions across the country have adopted similar events to highlight LGBTQIA+ and allied graduates.

The color lavender was particularly significant to Dr. Sanlo. As a Jewish Lesbian, Sanlo recognized the importance of lavender within LGBTQIA+ history – it represents the combination of the pink triangle gay men were forced to wear and the black star denoting lesbians as political prisoners in Nazi Germany concentration camps.

Carleton is proud to continue to honor Sanlo’s legacy by recognizing LGBTQIA+ graduates, allied graduates, and their families in our special Senior Celebration ceremony.

Register for Senior Celebration

Registration for Senior Celebration will open at the start of Spring Term 2024. All LGBTQIA+ seniors are welcome to register.