LGBTQ+ Class of 2015

Aaron Woodstein
Aaron Woodstein
Aaron shares a reflection.
Amelia Smith
Amelia Smith
Amelia speaks of her experience as a part of the "plus."
Brandon Common
Brandon Common
Director of Diversity and Inclusion Brandon Common shares closing thoughts.
Frank Boyd
Associate Provost Frank Boyd
Associate Provost Boyd reflects on the value of LGBTQ+s at IWU and in the greater social fabric.
Liezl Jacobson
Liezl Jacobson
Liezl performs an original piece of slam poetry.
Lav Grad Preparations

Preparations are complete.
The diploma table is prepared with materials for honorees.

April 2015 marked Illinois Wesleyan's second Lavender Graduation celebration! One faculty member was recognized for her outstanding support of LGBTQ+ students:

Honoree Liezl Jacobson performed an original spoken word piece, the text of which is reprinted here with her permission.

IWU's second class of honorees included: Luis David Cabrales-Vasquez, Liezl Abrau Jacobson, Anne Marie Kehler, Amelia Von Gemmingen Smith, Michael Joseph Wettengel, Rachel Wimberly, Aaron Harris Woodsmen. These graduating students contributed significantly to furthering the goals and aspirations of the LGBTQ+ community during their time at IWU. 

Lavender Graduation 2015 will be remembered as remarkable for the student contributions to the program.  A particular highlight was honoree Liezl Jacobson who performed an original spoken word piece, the text of which is reprinted here with her permission. 

2015 highlights included:

  • Associate Provost Frank Boyd was the keynote speaker and discussed the progress that LGBTQ+ people have seen at IWU and in society in recent years through his disciplinary lens of political science
  • Professor Meghan Burke was honored by senior sociology student Rachel Wimberly
  • President Wilson welcomed those assembled and posited the value of LGBTQ+ people in contributing to powerful learning environments marked by differences in identity and experience
  • Various honorees contributed to the celebration including offering reflections and poetry. including Senior Liezl Jacobson's slam poetry piece at right
  • As Director of Alumni Relations, Adriane Powell welcomed honorees to the community of IWU alumni and to the Pride Alumni Community
  • Director of Diversity and Inclusion Brandon Common reinforced the role of LGBTQ+ student support as a core mission of Diversity and Inclusion and the IWU Strategic Plan 2020



Lavender Graduation 2015 Program



Program booklet  (.pdf)


Additional photos of Lavender Graduation  2015

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