Lavender Graduation is an annual celebration to commemorate the contributions of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Allied communities at Columbia.
The tradition first started at the University of Michigan in 1995. The color lavender, adopted by the gay movement in the 1960s, is the main color of Sayville, NY. Sayville is near Fire Island's gay enclaves.
The first Lavender Graduation at Columbia was held on Sunday, May 13, 2007. Initially, graduating students wore business casual or formal wear, but starting in 2009, students began wearing academic regalia.
In 2009, J. Bryan Lowder was commissioned by the planning committee to compose an official piano solo commemorating Lavender Graduation at Columbia titled Amid the Noise.