UMKC’s Lavender Graduation recognizes the LGBT campus communityAnnual ceremony takes place April 29

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) will host its annual Lavender Graduation at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29 at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center, 3700 Blue Parkway, Kansas City, Mo. The Lavender Graduation will recognize students, faculty, staff and community members who have helped strengthen and enrich the UMKC lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) campus community.

A reception will follow, and the event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, contact the UMKC Student Life Office at (816) 235-1407. Nominations for Lavender Graduation awards are being accepted through Friday, April 18. More information is available at

James Robert (Bob) Batterson, a UMKC alumnus, will present a keynote speech, “Leading in a World of Change.” After graduating from UMKC’s Six-Year Medical Program in 1987, Batterson completed his residency at the Medical University of South Carolina and Brown University School of Medicine. Batterson is a child psychiatrist, associate professor at the UMKC School of Medicine and assistant professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Batterson has been a member of American Psychiatric Association since 1988.

UMKC began hosting Lavender Graduation ceremonies four years ago to acknowledge the achievements and contributions of LGBT students and allies. This year’s Lavender Graduation is a reflection of how people lead in a world of change. The goal of the event is that every student, faculty, staff or community member that is a part of the ceremony will gain a better understanding of how people should continue to lead in an ever-changing world.

“UMKC has been recognized as one of the top 100 campuses for LGBT students in the nation and recently was recognized by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) as a not-for-profit leader in workplace equality,” said David Greene, interim assistant director/LGBT coordinator for the UMKC Student Life Office. “We have a real commitment to the LGBT community and the Lavender Graduation Ceremony is one way of acknowledging this work.”

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 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.

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