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New Mexico State University’s LGBT+ Programs hosts the annual Rainbow Graduation Dinner. Pictured here are graduates honored at a previous ceremony. (Courtesy photo) APR16

NMSU LGBT+ Programs to host Rainbow Graduation Dinner

New Mexico State University’s LGBT+ Programs will host the annual Rainbow Graduation Dinner from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, May 6, at the NMSU Golf Course Club House.

The ceremony will honor 10 LGBT+ and allied graduates, who will be presented with rainbow stoles. The event will feature keynote speaker and NMSU Department of English Associate Professor Elizabeth Schirmer.

Two Excellence in Service Awards will be presented – one for a student and one for a staff or faculty member. Zooey Sophia Pook, coordinator of LGBT+ Programs at NMSU, said the award recipients are selected by the office staff.

“The award recipients are voted on in terms of commitment to LGBT+ programs and policies on both the administrative and student levels,” Pook said.

The student Excellence in Service Award recipient is Kenz Arraki, who is one of the co-founders of the transgender student group on campus. Arraki will be graduating with a doctorate in astronomy.

The faculty/staff Excellence in Service Award recipient is Lori McKee, who is the NMSU Health & Wellness Executive Director.

“Lori has been instrumental in a number of policies that have helped protect LGBT students and have helped in their success and wellness,” Pook said.

Tickets for the graduation dinner are $20 and may be purchased until May 1 online at lgbt.nmsu.edu or at the LGBT+ Programs office in Garcia Annex Room 235. Tickets may also be purchased and donated to students. The event was known as the Lavender Dinner in previous years. This is the first year with the new name.

LGBT+ Programs was created to provide a safe place on campus for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, asexual and queer community and those who support them.

For more information about the event, call LGBT+ Programs at 575-646-7031 or email lgbt@nmsu.edu

Author:  Kristie Garcia – NMSU

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