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June 2014

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2014 Lavender Graduation

Christopher L. Gatesman Service Award winners JoAnn Benjamin (left),
Graham Hay (right), and LGBT & Ally Education Award winner Shelby Wiltz
were honored at the 2014 Lavender Graduation

The James Madison University LGBT & Ally Education Program held its eighth annual Lavender Graduation May 9 at Festival Conference and Student Center.

Lavender Graduation is a separate graduation ceremony and celebration to honor the success and achievements of JMU LGBTQA+ students. It is hosted by the LGBT & Ally Education Program and is open to all.

Several graduating students were honored for their contributions to the JMU community and received a certificate.

JoAnn Benjamin, the International Advising Coordinator for JMU’s University Advising, co-founder of the JMU LGBTQ Faculty & Staff Group, and a LGBT & Ally Education Program Advisory Board member, served as keynote speaker.

Benjamin was also presented with a Christopher L. Gatesman Service award in recognition of her outstanding dedication and support of the JMU LGBT & Ally Education Program.

Graham Hay, a highly active volunteer in the LGBT & Ally Education Program, was also presented with a Christopher L. Gatesman Service Award for his outstanding dedication and support.

Shelby Wiltz, the campus team leader to elect Gov. Terry McAuliffe and advocate for adding gender identity and expression to the JMU nondiscrimination policy, was presented the LGBT & Ally Education Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the creation or improvement of an inclusive, respectful, and safe climate for the LGBT community.

The LGBT & Ally Education Program volunteers were recognized, as well as the LGBT & Ally Education Program Advisory Board, the student organization Madison Equality, the JMU LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Group, and Safe Zone. The LGBT & Ally Education Program student employees, Marieka Turner and Shannon Garner, were also recognized, as well as the LGBT & Ally Education Program graduate assistant, Madison Holzman.








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