Seven University of Oregon students were honored during a special ceremony on Sunday. The Lavender Graduation acknowledges the achievements and campus contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students.
The event began with a moment of silence in honor of the people killed and wounded in the Sunday morning mass shooting in Orlando.
Then, one at a time, LGBT graduating students faced the small crowd and a loved one spoke about them.
Kalie Solomon is graduating with a major in Women and Gender Studies. She was active in the Gender Inclusive Bathroom Campaign on campus. Alyssa Golditch held back tears as she talked about her best friend.
Golditch: "When I asked Kalie's family and friends to describe her only using one word, I found myself overcome with emotions for each of them reflected something that I too see in Kalie. To all of them Kalie is unique, benevolent, sarcastic, inspirational, a beautiful soul, free, champion, loyal and to me, home."
Each student received a rainbow colored graduation stole. This is the 20th year the U of O has held the Lavender Graduation.