The College Fix reported this week that Virginia Tech is one of many universities that have adopted separate ceremonies for student groups based on identity. For example, The Donning of Kente Ceremony is held to commemorate the graduation of Black and African American students.
The Donning of the Kente Ceremony serves as a celebration of achievement for Black and African American undergraduate, graduate, and Ph.D. candidates. This ceremony provides graduating students with a positive and rewarding experience that recognizes them for their hard work and dedication. Family and friends are a very important part of this recognition ceremony and are given an opportunity to acknowledge the achievements of their loved ones.
Virginia Tech will also hold a “Lavender Ceremony” for student members of the LGBTQ community.
Each spring, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and ally community at Virginia Tech gathers to recognize the achievements of graduating students during the annual Lavender Commencement Ceremony. This ceremony began in 2009 by recognizing five graduating students. With great joy, the sponsoring organizations (the LGBT Faculty and Staff Caucus, HokiePRIDE, and Queer Grads, Professionals, & Allies) welcome family, friends, faculty, staff, students, and the community to celebrate this special occasion.
Unlike other universities, Virginia Tech will also hold a separate graduation ceremony for student veterans. “This event is held in order to celebrate the academic accomplishments of our student veterans. Those completing their undergraduate, graduate, and PhD degrees will receive a red, white, and blue cord, acknowledging the completion of their coursework and to signify our appreciation for their service to our country,” the description for the ceremony reads.