University of Vermont


LGBTQA Awards & Rainbow Graduation

The LGBTQA Center hosts an annual awards and graduation ceremony each spring, complete with music, food, and fun, to celebrate UVM's LGBTQA community, its many achievements, and the LGBTQA students who are graduating - both undergrads and grads.


Each year, we like to thank LGBTQA students, staff, and faculty who have had a positive impact on the LGBTQA community or UVM itself by giving out eight awards. During the nomination period which begins in February and ends early March, community members can nominate someone to be considered by the Awards Committee to receive an award. Descriptions of the awards are located at the bottom of this page and the nomination form can be filled out and submitted here (

Rainbow Graduation

We also honor LGBTQA students who are graduating with a rainbow stole and graduation certificate. Over 400 students have received rainbow stoles since the tradition was established in 2002, and we plan on congratulating many more students in the future. Faculty, staff, students, alums, and families of graduating students can reserve their spot during the RSVP period here (

We often invite guest speakers to deliver remarks; sharing their experiences and insight with the community. Check out Dr. John Krowka's '75 speech during the 2016 Rainbow Graduation and Bill Meezan's '67 speech (Part 1 and Part 2) during the 2011 ceremony.

Past Years

We post photos of the events to our Flickr and Facebook pages each year. Be sure to check out the albums through our social media platforms by visiting Check out a selection of photos from years past below.

Rainbow Graduation Slideshow

Please let us know how we can make this and all our events more accessible to you by emailing us at or calling us at 802.656.8637.

Awards Descriptions

BETTY JO BRAUER SOCIAL JUSTICE AWARD: This award recognizes people who have the courage to speak up about LGBTQA social justice issues, and keep speaking up, even when changes are slow to come. For people at UVM who inspire others to action, this award is named after the mother of LGBTQA Center Director Dot Brauer to honor the ways in which the struggle for social justice is passed from generation to generation.

BRIDGE BUILDING AWARD: This award recognizes people who actively work to build bridges and between the LGBTQ community and other communities or organizations within UVM and in the greater community.

EMERGING LEADERSHIP AWARD: This award recognizes UVM community members, particularly students, who are not yet established leaders in UVM's LGBTQA community, but are rising to meet the challenges of leadership.

GLEN ELDER LEADERSHIP AWARD: This award recognizes people at UVM who set an example in the way that they publicly represent, and work on issues and needs of UVM’s LGBTQ members. This work could take place in any area of university life, including policy, curriculum, and governance. 

This award is named for Dr. Glen Elder of UVM’s Geography faculty of UVM from 1995 to 2008. He was served as UVM’s first out Associate Dean until his death in 2009. Learn more about Dr. Elder.

JACKIE WEINSTOCK SERVICE AWARD: The award recognizes an LGBTQ individual or organization currently working to better the quality of life for LGBTQA people at UVM. This award was named after Professor Jackie Weinstock, whose commitment to and vision for service to community helped increase access and inclusion for LGBTQ people at UVM and in Vermont. 

KATHY COOK COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AWARD: This award recognizes LGBTQ people who serve as role models to others, create connections between others, and actively demonstrate concern and caring for others in the community.

This award is named for Dr. Kathleen Cook, who served as Associate Director of Residential Life at UVM until her death in 2013. Dr. Cook was a distinguished scholar and beloved mentor who inspired many students, especially those in the Higher Education Student Affairs (HESA) program, and held all of her degrees (BA '91, MED '95, EDD '10) from UVM. She was well-known to begin each morning by asking herself, "How can I be of service today?"

PROVOST COURAGE AWARD: This award recognizes a LGBTQ student whose courage and persistence serve to advance equity, diversity, and social justice in higher education. It acknowledges the past and celebrates the future of students who seek to break through LGBTQ-phobic barriers. This award includes $250 from the Provost's Office.

PROVOST'S COMMITMENT TO EQUITY AND INCLUSION AWARD: This award recognizes an LGBTQ student who has demonstrated a commitment to advancing social justice and cultural diversity at UVM through education. The recipient demonstrates leadership and persistence in multicultural education, equity pedagogy, social justice and/or diversity work through programs, special projects, discussions, or leadership within organizations. This award acknowledges the past and celebrates the future of students who seek to break through barriers in the areas of access, equity, and/or social justice in higher education.  This award includes $250 from the Provost's Office.


Last modified September 28 2016 01:26 PM