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View of stained glass with the Georgetown University seal

Event Celebrating LGBTQ Graduates Marks 10th Anniversary

April 27, 2018 – Georgetown yesterday celebrated its 10th Lavender Graduation, which recognizes LGBTQ students who will graduate next month at Commencement 2018.

Judge Pamela Chen speaks at the lectern with Georgetown University signage on it.The event not only celebrates undergraduate seniors and graduate students, but also members of the Georgetown community considered to be allies.

Sivagami Subbaraman, director of Georgetown’s LGBTQ Resource Center, described Lavender Graduation as an opportunity to bring the LGBTQ and university community together with distinguished guests and other allies.

“Many have worked tirelessly, quietly and not so quietly to make Georgetown home for many of us who come from marginalized communities – for those of us who feel different because of our race, ethnicity, religion, ability, class, sexual orientation and gender identity,” she said.

Subbaraman paid special tribute to Paul Tagliabue (C’62) and his family at the event.

The Georgetown board of directors vice-chair and his wife, Chandler, established the Tagliabue Initiative for LGBTQ Life in 2012 under the direction of the LGBTQ Resource Center.

The endowment provides support to enhance and to deepen the understanding and knowledge of LGBTQ issues and histories through programs and academic research.

“The Tagliabues have made all of this particularly possible for us,” said Subbaraman, who also serves as special assistant to the vice president of student affairs. “Each and every one of you who are here ... who have gone before us and those who will come after us, we make it possible for us to be a home with and for each other.”

Georgetown Law alumna Pamela Chen (L’86), a federal district judge in the Eastern District of New York and Obama appointee, gave the keynote address.

Chen is the first LGBTQ-identifying Asian American federal judge and only the second Chinese woman to serve as federal district court judge.

Since her appointment to the bench, Chen has presided over civil and criminal cases, including a civil lawsuit alleging religious profiling of Muslims by the New York City Police Department.