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Chappell to speak at EWU Lavender Graduation


Eastern Washington University will be hosting the fifth annual Lavender Graduation Ceremony on Thursday, May 1, from 6-8 p.m. in the Showalter Hall Auditorium on the Cheney campus.  

The Lavender Graduation, which is sponsored by the EWU Pride Center, is a cultural celebration that recognizes graduating LGBTQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally) students from Spokane area community colleges, universities and high schools.

The ceremony will acknowledge the academic achievements of the students, as well as the unique challenges they have overcome, and raise awareness about the contributions that they have made to their respective schools and to the community at large. 

The keynote speaker is Emmy Award winning-actress, producer and author Crystal Chappell, who received international acclaim for her performance on CBS-TV’s “Guiding Light” in the groundbreaking “Otalia” storyline about two women, both mothers, who unexpectedly fall in love.

Currently appearing on CBS-TV’s “Bold and the Beautiful,” Chappell has become a visible and outspoken ally for the LGBTQ community.

Taking her producing talent to the Internet, she formed the new media company, Open Book Productions, where she created, produced and acted in the award winning web series “Venice,” as well as “The Grove” and most recently is executive producing the political drama, “Beacon Hill,” all prominently featuring openly gay and lesbian characters. 

Chappell will also be offering a lecture on the Cheney campus at 4 p.m., May 1 in the Showalter Auditorium to discuss her history in the entertainment industry, her new book, “The Perfect Art of Imperfection” and “why an award winning actress became one of Hollywood’s strongest LGBTQ allies.”

A reception will follow the lecture at 5 p.m., preceding the graduation ceremony that starts at 6 p.m. 

The Lavender Graduation will also feature student speakers, entertainment, and will honor friends and family members that the graduates have nominated to receive special recognition for their support, encouragement and inspiration. 

All events are free and open to the public, however registration is required for students to participate in the Lavender Graduation.

Participants will receive a rainbow tassel, lavender stole and certificate of accomplishment. EWU is inviting students from Spokane area high schools and colleges who are graduating this year, or who have recently graduated, to participate in the ceremony.  

The EWU Pride Center, located in Showalter Hall, is dedicated to promoting a campus wide culture of inclusion and respect for diversity through education, outreach and collaboration, and providing a safe and accepting environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and ally students, faculty and staff at EWU.


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