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Student Success Campus Life

Miami students celebrate diversity with Horizon, Lavender ceremonies

Student Success Campus Life

Miami students celebrate diversity with Horizon, Lavender ceremonies

Alexandra Hernandez

Alexandra Hernandez

Graduating senior Alexandra Hernandez can’t wait to start the next phase of her life after she earns a bachelor’s degree from Miami University this weekend. 

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here, and being active in campus organizations played a large part in finding my place at Miami,” she said.

The Lima, Ohio woman double majored in international studies and Spanish with a minor in Latin American and Caribbean studies. She hopes to teach English abroad later this year or in early 2022.

Hernandez has been the institutional ambassador on the executive board for UNIDOS, which aims to create a diverse and inclusive environment where Latinx and Hispanic students feel at home on campus. The student organization has a diverse group of students with cultural roots from all over Latin America, Spain and the Caribbean.  

Hernandez studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain her sophomore year.

“I spent five months living with a host family and taking classes at the Universidad de Sevilla,” she said. “It was one of my favorite memories from my time here at Miami.”  

A time for celebrating

Hernandez plans to attend the Horizon Graduation Ceremony at 5 p.m. today at Central Quad.

The event is a signature program of Miami’s Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion. It recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of diverse undergraduate and graduate students as they prepare to start their professional lives.  

Jannie Kamara, Miami’s student body president, will provide the senior address. Other speakers include Nloh Masango-Dibo, director of the Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion, and Vicka Bell-Robinson, director of the Office of Residence Life.   

Hernandez’s advice to incoming students is to push themselves out of their comfort zone and join organizations that interest them.  

“Joining organizations is a great way to meet new friends, and the relationships you create within these communities help when navigating and confronting difficult situations that might happen during your time here,” Hernandez said. “There really is a place for everyone on campus, and there are also so many great resources that the school offers.”  

The Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion in the Armstrong Student Center has a lot of opportunities and is a great place to connect with other students, she added.  

Miami’s 20th Lavender Graduation

Lavender Graduation celebration

Graduating senior Nicole Newsome stopped by the Lavender Graduation reception to receive some of her gifts from the Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion, including a padfolio for post-grad life (submitted photo).

Miami celebrated its 20th Lavender Graduation ceremony on May 1 via Zoom and with an in-person reception for graduates and guests following the ceremony outside on an Armstrong Student Center terrace.

The Lavender Graduation is an annual ceremony conducted on numerous college campuses to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer+ and ally students and to acknowledge and honor their achievements and contributions. It is a signature program of Miami’s LGBTQ+ Services. 

“During the Lavender Graduation ceremony, we were honored to be joined by alumni who organized the first Lavender Graduation on Miami's campus and some of the first graduates,” said Dasha Harris (Miami '12), assistant director of student activities and Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.   

Celebrations like these are important, Harris said. 

“With Miami University being a predominantly white institution, we host graduation for our underrepresented students to provide them with a more intimate and affirming ceremony and a more personalized graduation experience,” she said.