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Signature Events

MSS Signature Events

Each year, Multicultural Student Services hosts a number of events for the University community in order to engage multicultural student and the larger UVA community.

Opening Signature Events

  • New Student Welcome and Cultural Community Receptions 

    At the start of each academic year, MSS hosts a large New Student Welcome event that include smaller break out receptions for each of the cultural communities we support.  This event introduces students to University resources, faculty, administrators, student groups, and initiatives to help in their transition to UVA.  

  • New Student Retreat: Immerse!

    This new initiative will bring together new students who identify as multicultural to a one-day retreat  at an off-Grounds location. The New Student Retreat will provide an opportunity for new students to meet one another, dialogue about shared experiences, learn about key resources and programs, and engage with key student leaders and staff.

Recognition Events

  • Multicultural Scholars Reception

    After the fall semester, first year multicultural students who are a part of the Dean’s List of their respective programs are invited to a Multicultural Scholars Reception to recognize their achievements for the past semester.

  • Graduation Ceremonies

    • LGBTQ Lavender Ceremony - Typically held the Thursday prior to Final Exercises, the LGBTQ Lavender Ceremony commemorates graduates who idenitfy as LGTBQ and as allies. The event highlights student speakers, award winners, and the donning of lavender stoles for graduates.  Registration for 2019 Lavender Graduation closes on April 30.

    • Multicultural Graduation Ceremony - Held on the Friday of Final Exercises, the Multicultural Graduation Ceremony commemorates those who identify as Hispanic/Latinx, Middle Eastern, Native/Aboriginal, & Asian/Asian Pacific American. The ceremony highlights student speakers, faculty/administration, and presentation of graduation stoles. Registration for 2019 Multicultural Graduation closes on April 24.


  • V. Shamim Sisson Ally Award Reception

    • The V. Shamim Sisson Ally of the Year Award seeks to recognize a member of the UVA community who has gone above and beyond in their daily life in supporting the LGBTQ+ community, furthering the rights and acceptance of queer-identified individuals at the University of Virginia and beyond. Understanding that allies come in many shapes and sizes and with varying access to resources, we encourage and welcome student, faculty, staff, and alumni nominees. This award brings necessary attention to the important role that allies play in the fight for equality, social justice, and the acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community. The V. Shamim Sisson Ally of the Year Award is presented during The Annual Serpentine Society Fall Weekend.