On Wednesday, May 30, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center (LGBTRC) celebrated its 12th annual End of the Year dinner at the University Club. This formal evening highlighted the accomplishments and progress of the center, as well as the achievements of its students and members. Parents, friends and allies were invited for hors d’oeuvres, entertainment and the Lavender Pre-Graduation Ceremony, which recognized the graduating class of 2007.
The event was emceed by students and members Colin Murphy, first-year double-major in earth and environmental sciences and global sustainability, and Hailee Pollard, first-year drama design and technology major. Their wit and charm captivated the audience throughout the night. Dennis Chan, fourth-year double-major in sociology and Asian American studies, gave a jaw-dropping dance and lip synching performance in drag. Keynote speakers and UC Irvine Alumni Dustin Utt and Lena Nguyen expressed how the center helped them in the coming-out process. The ceremony paid tribute to the center, which the center has made its home in Gateway Commons for the past 12 years. Next year, it will be relocated to the new UCI Student Center.
The ceremony also honored LGBTRC founding director Pat Walsh, who is retiring this July. After serving the UCI community for the past 23 years she was presented with a blanket by the LGBT students to remind her that UCI will always keep her warm. The final Lavender Pre-Graduation ceremony was introduced with a commemorative video of LGBT students and recognized the 2007 Irvine Queers (IQ) board, chairman Roger Lee Becker and vice chair Julie Ho, along with members Scott Lloyd, Michelle Chang, Dennis Chan, Jon Wong, Abbey Abeynayake, Nikki Placido and Narinda Heng. The graduating class of 2007 received rainbow tassels and were acknowledged for their progress in the community. The evening ended with a standing ovation for the students and for Walsh.
The center hopes to expand next year and is excited about organizing new events and representing the IQ board for the 2007-2008 school year.