Apr 22, 2008    #032
Contact: Wandra Green

UMKC’S Annual Lavender Graduation Recognizing the LGBT Campus Community

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) alumnus Paolo Andino, cast member on the international “Big Gay Sketch Show,” is the keynote speaker at the University’s annual Lavender Graduation. The April 30 ceremony will recognize students, faculty, staff and community members who have helped strengthen and enrich the UMKC lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) campus community.

The ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. April 30, at Unity Temple, 707 W. 47th Street, Kansas City, Mo. A reception will follow. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are available through the Central Ticket Office by calling 816-235-6222 or online at

Andino graduated in 1997 from UMKC’s theater program with a master of fine arts degree and during his two-day visit, he will meet with current UMKC theater students. Andino believes that he experienced some of the best years of his life in Kansas City.

“I went to Kansas City and I loved it,” he said. “The 90s was the best decade for me. I was out, and it was just a fantastic experience all the way around.”

Since moving to New York, he has had roles on ABC’s soap opera “One Life to Live” and starred in the movie “Shut Up and Do It!”

“This year’s Lavender Graduation is an opportunity to reflect on our past, honor the now and look forward to the future,” said David Greene, Interim Assistant Director for Student Life. “Every student, faculty, staff or community member who is a part of the ceremony will be walking away knowing that we, as part of the UMKC community, are a part of something great.”

The Lavender Graduation was designed three years ago to acknowledge the achievements and contributions of LGBT students. Andino’s appearance, sponsored by UMKC’s LGBT Office, is in conjunction with UMKC’s 75th anniversary and the 30th anniversary of the former Gay Student Union’s recognition on campus.

Nominations for the Lavender Graduation Recognition Ceremony awards are being accepted through April 18. More information is available at The University is committed to an inclusive community that is open, respectful and supportive of LGBT students, faculty and staff. UMKC Pride was established to provide an outlet for discussion and discovery of and for the LGBT community. Also, it creates an opportunity to center discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in its programming.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Celebrating 75 years, UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban engagement.


This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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