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UTSA hosts Lavender Graduation April 30 to recognize GLBTQ students, allies

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(April 24, 2013) -- The UTSA Inclusion and Community Engagement Center will host its inaugural Lavender Graduation ceremony for graduating gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or questioning identifying students and student allies from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 30 in the University Center Denman Room (2.01.28) on the Main Campus. Students who identify as GLBTQ and their allies are encouraged to participate.

Lavender Graduation is a celebration that recognizes students who identify as GLBTQ and their allies. It acknowledges their achievements and contributions to UTSA. The keynote speaker will be Deborah Wagner, an instructor in the Department of Anthropology and adviser to the Inclusion and Community Engagement Center.

"This inaugural celebration will acknowledge our students' academic successes as well as honor their personal journey and growth," said Yvonne Peña, assistant dean of students. "Through this event, it is our hope that GLBTQ graduates will feel encouraged to maintain a connection to the university, the faculty and staff, and their fellow students, and become engaged alumni."

The event will feature recognition of GLBTQ Scholarship recipients and the presentation of two new awards. The Outstanding GLBTQ Student Leadership Award will be presented to a student who has demonstrated a commitment to leadership, service and active engagement within the UTSA community. The Outstanding Faculty-Staff Supporter to GLBTQ Students Award will be presented to a faculty or staff member who has demonstrated continued support for the GLBTQ community at UTSA.

The color lavender, a combination of pink and black, is an important symbol within GLBTQ history and culture. During World War II, gay men were forced to wear pink triangles in concentration camps and black triangles designated lesbians as political prisoners in Nazi Germany. The GLBTQ civil rights movement took these two symbols of hatred and combined them to make symbols and a color of pride and community. Lavender Graduation ceremonies are held across the country and began in 1995 at the University of Michigan.

"Lavender Graduation means a lot of things," said Sarah Price, president of GLBTQ and a graduating senior. "It means I'm not the only one out there struggling, both as a student and as a person in the LGBTQ community. It means I don't have to fight alone, nor have I had to study alone. It recognizes that I have accomplished two of the hardest goals I ever put in front of myself: graduate college and come out of the closet. It validates my identity in front of an auditorium full of people. It celebrates me for being me, when so much of society says I should feel shame. Lavender Graduation isn't just a ceremony for students; it's a nod of approval for so many who get none anywhere else in their lives."

For more information or if you are graduating and a member of the GLBTQ and ally community, contact the Inclusion and Community Engagement Center at 210-458-4770 or



Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

CITE Venture Competition & Exposition

The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus

Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert

This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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UTSA's Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA's Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

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