Noble Transitions, Lavender Graduation Celebrate Student Diversity and Inclusion at Otterbein

Posted Apr 22, 2021

Otterbein graduation celebrations begin the week before the Commencement ceremonies, with smaller celebrations of students with diverse backgrounds. These ceremonies include Noble Transitions to celebrate multicultural students and Lavender Graduation to honor LGBT students and allies.

James Prysock, director of the Otterbein Office of Social Justice and Activism, says that Noble Transitions and Lavendar Graduation are more important than ever this year.

“This year has been draining for a variety of reasons. People are exhausted of defending their humanity,” he said. “As a university that aims to support our students holistically, it is our civic responsibility to provide platforms to educate and celebrate.”

A diverse group of Otterbein students at a campus event.
A diverse group of Otterbein students at a Noble Transitions ceremony pre-pandemic

For more than 20 years, Otterbein’s Noble Transitions has provided multicultural students an opportunity to thank those members of their families and the Otterbein community who have been integral to their academic success. This year’s program will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 30, in the Alum Creek Park amphitheater. It is open to family, friends, and all members of the Otterbein Community.

At the celebration, students are presented with a Kente stole and have an opportunity to recognize family and friends. There are 34 students scheduled to attend this year’s event.

LGBTQIA+ students, friends, and families are also planning to attend Otterbein’s Lavender Graduation. This year, the ceremony will be held virtually at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, April 26. So far, 16 students will participate.

Lavender Graduations are a national movement. According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a Lavender Graduation is “an annual ceremony conducted on numerous campuses to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ally students and to acknowledge their achievements and contributions to the University.”

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Lavender Graduation chords awarded to students

Otterbein’s ceremony offers an open environment for friends and family to show their support and celebrate with their loved ones in the LGBTQIA+ community.

Otterbein is committed to creating a culture that recognizes, respects, embraces, and values differences in the broadest sense. These two events remind us that this work is never finished and remains essential to a thriving campus and student population.

“Noble Transitions and Lavender Graduation are examples of celebrating the humanity and dignity of our diverse population,” Prysock said. “They’re a chance for people to enjoy the fruits of their labor with people who have invested in their Otterbein experience.”