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LGBTQ students, students of color, internationals reportedly to get virtual graduations at Lutheran college — but others must wait until 2021 for ceremony


The three virtual ceremonies reportedly will be called the multicultural, international, and lavender graduations

Photo by Jens Schlueter/Getty Images

St. Olaf College — a Minnesota school "nourished by Lutheran tradition" — reportedly will hold virtual graduation ceremonies for "self-identified domestic students of color, international students, and LGBTQIA+ students" at the end of the school year while all other students must wait until 2021 for their pomp and circumstance.

What are the details?

Commencement exercises at St. Olaf were shuttered after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and will be "rescheduled for a date in late May/early June of 2021," the school's website noted.

A Friday administrative email from the Taylor Center for Equity and Inclusion at the school announced the three virtual graduation ceremonies, Campus Reform reported.

"This event acknowledges the value and uniqueness of students' experience and serves to commemorate and highlight the accomplishments of individuals within their familial and cultural context," the email said, according to the outlet.

Campus Reform added that the three ceremonies will be called the multicultural, international, and lavender graduations and are intended for students of color, international students, and LGBTQ students, respectively.

None of the graduating St. Olaf seniors interviewed by the outlet said they were told of an online ceremony for the general student body.

What did the school have to say?

Kari VanDerVeen, the school's associate director of communications, told Campus Reform that St. Olaf is "exploring a number of ways to celebrate the Class of 2020," but plans were not yet "finalized."

TheBlaze on Wednesday reached out to VanDerVeen for comment on Campus Reform's report but didn't immediately hear back from her.

Anything else?

You might recall St. Olaf College in the news before. In May 2017, a racist note prompted the student body to hold a massive protest that shut down classes for a day — but the note was revealed to be hoax.

The note read, "I am so glad that you are leaving soon. One less [N-word] that this school has to deal with. You have spoken up too much. You will change nothing. Shut up or I will shut you up."

The school's president later said the author of the note confessed and said the fake note was meant to direct attention to racial issues on campus.

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