Annual Lavender Graduation and Awards ceremony takes place on May 5

Ceremony recognizes achievements of LGBTQIA graduating students, honors community allies

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Ally (LGBTQIA) Resource Center is sponsoring the annual Lavender Graduation and Awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 5 at the UMKC Student Union Theater. The event is free, and tickets are not required. A reception will follow.

Christopher Leitch, director of the Kansas City Museum at Corinthian Hall, and Stuart Hinds, Head of Special Collections at the UMKC Miller Nichols Library, will be keynote speakers. The ceremony will recognize graduating LGBTQIA students and honor the contributions of faculty, staff and community members who have helped to strengthen and enrich the UMKC LGBTQIA campus community.

“This year’s graduation celebrates the tremendous work that individuals and organizations have put forth in the past year to make UMKC and Kansas City a more equitable and inclusive place to study, work and live,” said Joel Bolling, Student Services Coordinator.

The 2011 Lavender Awards recipients are:

Lavender Leadership Award – Tracey Dashjian, student, Counseling Ph.D. Program

Building Bridges Award – Kansas City Art Institute

Outstanding Faculty Award – Chris Brown, Ph.D., Professor, UMKC School of Education, Counseling and Educational Psychology

Outstanding Staff Award – Karen English, Director of Advancement, College of Arts and Sciences

Collaborative Excellence Award – Karen Vorst, Dean, UMKC College of Arts and Sciences

Jim Wanser Award – Courtney Monzyk

Outstanding Alum Award – Lisa Brunner, J.D., Brunner Law Firm

Rising Star – Jesse Schaaf, Youth Empowerment Summit student,

Outstanding Ally Award – UMKC Division of Diversity, Access & Equity

Visible and Vocal Award – Kansas City Anti-Violence Project,

The Lavender Graduation is sponsored by UMKC’s LGBTQIA Resource Center, the UMKC Division of Diversity, Access and Equity, the UMKC Counseling, Health and Testing Center and the Kansas City Art Institute. For more information, contact

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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