New Cardinal Pride Group Creates LGBTQIA+ Community for Alumni

Posted Oct 07, 2022

Homecoming and Family Weekend was more than just a celebration of their alma mater for one group of alumni — it was a celebration of LGBTQIA+ pride in the Otterbein community. This signature campus weekend was the first event for Cardinal Pride, a new alumni group that was approved by the Otterbein Alumni Council earlier this year.

Raymond McKenzie ’92 is chair of the Cardinal Pride Alumni Group and was part of the effort to create this new community. He explained how the group was formed: “The group was the effort of several round tables that explored what the group should stand for as well as what its goals might be. Sarah Vith ’08 and I then took those notes and drafted the charter to submit to Otterbein.”

The group’s mission statement focuses on forming a supporting community of alumni, students, faculty, and staff: 

Cardinal Pride Alumni Group is here to support FreeZone and the LGBTQIA+ Resource Theme House on campus to promote LGBTQIA+ acceptance and awareness. We hope our collective past experiences will help continue to shape a better Otterbein campus culture and climate in the future and to provide an outlet of support to GLBTQ+ alumni and staff. 

The true impact of the group became evident as members gathered at Homecoming and Family Weekend to participate in the parade and OtterFest.

“During the parade, Kathy Butler ’72 left her group in the parade and joined us,” McKenzie said, “She was so proud to be holding the Cardinal Pride banner. Kathy looked at me and said, ‘Fifty years ago, this wouldn’t have been allowed.’”

“This, to me, is just one of many reasons it is important for our alumni, both young and old, to have this group. We are an opportunity to be proud of who you are and to help a community that unites us,” he added.

Currently, the Cardinal Pride Alumni Group is building its leadership council and looking for members to join the group and plan events throughout the year.

For information on how to join, contact

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