Lavender Graduation

Lavender Graduation honors graduating LGBTQ+ students and acknowledges their achievements and contributions to the university community.

Both undergraduate and graduate students are invited to participate and receive lavender cords and a certificate. Students who would like to participate should email the SAGE Center at

As the university community was unable to celebrate the achievements of the graduates in person, many have shared messages to the graduates which can be viewed here.

2020 Southern Connecticut State University Graduates

Ren Berisha

Ren was an undergraduate in English and Secondary Education. In their time at Southern, they were Secretary and President of the club LGBTQIA Prism. They really enjoyed Creative Writing and hope to continue teaching English in High School after they graduate.

Mary Fitzgerald

Mary is a graduating MSW student at Southern. She was an MSW intern at the SAGE Center from 2018-2019 where she supported the needs of LGBTQIA+ students as well as providing education and outreach to the larger Southern Community. She stayed on as a SAGE Center Student Ambassador during the 2019-2020 school year to continue to help support these students. Mary has a passion for working with the LGBTQ+ community as a member of the community herself and intends to spend her social work career working with LGBTQ+ youth and supporting their mental health and community needs. Mary will begin her career working at Waterbury Youth Services with youth transitioning out of the foster care system.

Parker Ly

One of my fondest memories was joining the Botany Club at Southern. This club enabled me to grow my repertoire of skills such as group management, communication, and creativity. A club is like a garden, It has many types of people working and growing together to make something beautiful. On one such occasion, our club organized a donation-based fundraising event. Working together our club members cultivated plants which people could take for free. If they wanted to, they could donate to our club. Also, while at Southern me and one of my best friends attended the Quinnipiac Game forum in New York City. The GAME forum allows us to mingle with business and financial leaders their insights help me get a snapshot of the financial world I would I be entering with my degree.

John Perry

My time here at Southern was amazing. I would not be graduating with High honors without these wonderful things and people that make SCSU a great University. First, I would like to thank the School of Business and the wonderful professors and faculty that helped shape me academically. Second shoutout to RHA for helping me hone in my leadership qualities. Lastly thank you to the SAGE center for providing a safe space and resources to utilize. All of this combined has made me a better person and has prepared me for life beyond Southern.

Lilia Ricci

As a transfer student, moving from my hometown to finish my bachelor’s here at Southern had me anxious at first. It was a whole new community of student, faulty, and staff on a kind of campus and environment I had no experience with. Since being here though I have participated by way of a ton of volunteer hours as I have loved the company of the people I’ve worked with and the school community I’ve worked for. The focus and services we provided in the SAGE Center has been the pinnacle of my time of involvement with the school.