Lavendar Graduation Awards

Do you know an outstanding graduating student? The Lavender Graduation Awards are great way to acknowledge students, faculty, and staff members who have demonstrated exemplary dedication and initiative to creating positive change for LGBTQIA and similarly identified members of the UW-Milwaukee community.

Eldon Murray Legacy Award – A true pioneer in the national gay rights movement, Eldon Murray helped start the Gay People’s Union, the Milwaukee AIDS Project which became the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, and Senior Action for a Gay Environment (SAGE) Milwaukee. Presented to a graduate who has taken initiative toward a vision of creating positive change, promoting awareness, and building community for/of LGBTQIA* people at UW-Milwaukee. *LGBTQIA: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, & allied.

Interactive Student Award – As a member of an oppressed community it is important to educate and network with others to create awareness and strong relationships to help decrease and diminish the oppression. Presented to a student who has demonstrated tremendous effort to serve the LGBTQIA community through building coalitions with members of diverse communities to end all forms of oppression.

Distinguished Service Award – Presented to a member of the campus community who makes significant, sustained contributions to campus and broader LGBTQIA communities; work done on committees and professional positions may be considered for this award. All students are eligible, deference is given to graduates.

LGBTQIA Research Award – Recognizes an outstanding published or unpublished paper written or research conducted while in residence at UWM, research which promotes understanding of topics relevant to LGBTQIA communities. Students nominated for this award will be asked to provide an abstract or brief synopsis of their paper/research/findings.

Dr. Jeff Merrick Leadership Award – Faculty and Staff play a role in educating, rearing, and role-modeling for students at UWM. Presented to a member of the faculty or staff at UWM who has shown dedication & support for LGBTQIA people through taking initiative in order to stand up and speak out against issues of homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism, and cisgenderism.


  • Must show proof of merit for specific award via short essay.
  • Proof of organization participation, accomplishments, etc where applicable (upon request).
  • Awardees must be present to receive the award.
  • All persons nominated must be UWM Campus Community members: Students, Faculty, and/or Staff (Classified & Academic); proof can be requested through the Dean of Students Office or the Department of Enrollment Services for students and through Human Resources for Faculty & Staff.
  • A campus community member is ineligible to receive an award in 2 consecutive years.

Please indicate why the nominee merits receipt of the award you indicated above. Submit 300-400 words written into this application or as an attachment to the application. The Lav Grad Committee will notify each nominee of their nomination. All nominations must be submitted to or hardcopy to Union WG-89 (ATTN: LavGrad) by 10am on Wednesday, May 15.