Two members of Murray State Alliance were recognized for their hard work and accomplishments at Lavender Graduation Tuesday.
Graduating seniors Brian Kinnaman and Christopher Morehead were awarded rainbow colored cords to wear as they walk the stage at graduation to remind them of their accomplishments.
Graduating with his Bachelors of Art in Business with an area in International Business. Kinnaman is currently leading the petition for an LGBT Resource center. Future goals of Kinnaman’s include working administratively with the Episcopal Church while still advocating work for the LGBT community at large.
Graduating with his Bachelors of Science in Sociology with a minor in Organizational Communications. Active member of Alliance and participant of the bi-annual drag show. Served as the Public Relations Officer for 2010-2011.
More than 50 people attended the event held in the Barkley Room of the Curris Center including Bonnie Higginson provost, Cynthia Gayman, Regents Residential College Head, Jody Cofer vice president of Academic Affairs, Jane Etheridge, director of the Women’s Center, Rev. Matt Bradley and SG Carthell, director of Multicultural Affairs.
“This event is held as a way to honor LGBT students for their academic accomplishments, overcoming what can be tough odds,” Cofer said. “LGBT students face some hardships associated with discrimination and prejudices that other students may not have to face.”
The event began with an introduction by William Heath, senior from Mayfield Ky., and president of Murray State’s Alliance.
Following the brief introduction was an awards ceremony. The “Most Participation” award went to Jo Bennett, the “Achievement of the Semester” award went to Chris Morehead, the Executive Board Member of the Semester award went to Brian Kinnaman and the Donor of the Semester award went to Higginson. Other awards were also given in categories such as other achievement awards.
Following awards Pat McCutchen, professor of Humanities and Fine Arts, gave a speech honoring the two graduates.
She said that she hopes that as Kinnaman and Morehead go out into the world they show others that being you is acceptable.
“It’s not easy to be yourself when you live in a world where you’re expected to be the same,” McCutchen said.
Next Kinnaman and Morehead gave small speeches of gratitude.
At the conclusion of the event Cofer presented the rainbow chords to the two graduating seniors.
“The real joy of this event happens when they can look off the stage and say they did it when some said they couldn’t,” Cofer said. “They have overcome many hardships and now they are beginning the next part of their lives.”