Multicultural Affairs works in conjunction with a range of student organizations, alumni shared interest groups, and administrative colleagues to organize multicultural graduation ceremonies that celebrate the accomplishments of students that have engaged in many areas of diversity at Columbia University. Graduation ceremonies are open to all undergraduate students from Columbia and Barnard.
- OMA Graduation Cords
- Lavender (LGBTQ) Graduation
- Raza (Latinx) Graduation
- Black Graduation
- Asian Graduation
- Native Graduation
Presented by Multicultural Affairs, the OMA Graduation Cords are given to graduating seniors in Columbia College, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, and School of General Studies who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to diversity, social justice, and multiculturalism through the OMA, campus leadership, activism, community involvement, academic endeavors, and/or personal dedication.
Worn in the various graduation ceremonies, the graduation cords are also a powerful visual symbol of our new graduates’ ongoing commitment as alumni in continuing and sharing the office's mission of supporting personal development, advancing the strength within communities, acknowledging diversity in the different aspects of their lives, working toward social justice, honoring our different and intersecting legacies of struggle and survival, and building meaningful coalitions across different identities.
Nominees Must Meet the Following Criteria
- Current senior in CC, SEAS, or GS who will be eligible to participate in Commencement Spring 2017
- A student in good standing at Columbia University
- Positive impact on fellow students
- Willingness, openness, and commitment to be an ally to other communities
- Great ability to advocate, organize, and follow-through on related projects and initiatives
- Significant dedication of time to related projects and issues throughout his/her time at Columbia
- Demonstrated outstanding leadership and constructive contributions to diversity, social justice, and multiculturalism on or off campus while a student at Columbia
Lavender Graduation is a ceremony that celebrates our graduating LGBTQ and allied students. First started at the University of Michigan in 1995, the ceremony is now conducted at hundreds of universities nationwide including Princeton, Duke, MIT and NYU. The color lavender, adopted by the gay movement in the 1960's, is the main color of Sayville (Gayville), NY. Sayville is near Fire Island where the veterans of Stonewall hung out. This history of New York is honored during the ceremony as our graduates prepare to make history of their own.
Raza Graduation (formerly known as Latino Graduation) has a long-standing history within the university of celebrating the accomplishments of our undergraduate Latinx graduates, as well as recognizing the role that Latinx students have played in shaping Columbia’s landscape. This ceremony provides an intimate setting for students, faculty, staff, alumni, family, and friends to honor the graduates, in addition to welcoming them into their important roles as Barnard and Columbia alumni. Raza Graduation is co-sponsored by the CC/SEAS Multicultural Affairs, the Latino Alumni Association of Columbia University, the Raza Graduation Committee, and undergraduate student organizations. Additional support is provided by Barnard Student Life and GS Student Life.
Black Graduation has a long-standing history within the university of celebrating the accomplishments of our undergraduate Black graduates, as well as recognizing the role that Black students have played in shaping Columbia’s landscape. This ceremony provides an intimate setting for students, faculty, staff, alumni, family, and friends to honor the graduates, in addition to welcoming them into their important roles as Barnard and Columbia alumni. Black Graduation is co-sponsored by the CC/SEAS Multicultural Affairs, Black Students Organization -- Black Grad Committee, Black Alumni Council, and undergraduate student organizations. Additional support is provided by GS Student Life.
The Asian Graduation Reception is an annual celebration recognizing the achievements of our graduating Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi American communities on campus. In collaboration with the Columbia Alumni Association and the Asian Columbia Alumni Association, we honor the legacies of heritages and histories, the voices that have individually and collectively impacted the University, and the invaluable network of shared strength and support among fellow Columbians – past and present.
Native Graduation is an annual celebration recognizing the achievements of our graduating indigenous communities on campus. It provides an intimate setting for family, friends, alumni, faculty, staff, and students to recognize the accomplishments of the graduates while embracing their new important roles as Columbia alumni. This ceremony is co-sponsored by the Multicultural Affairs | Undergraduate Student Life and Native American Council. Support is provided by Columbia Alumni Association and GS Student Life.