Gender and Sexuality Alliance Celebrates 25th Anniversary at Rhodes

A group of people ranging in age stand with arms linked in front of a sign that says "Rhodes Pride"

This past weekend the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) of Rhodes College celebrated its 25th anniversary with three days of events for students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The celebration began on Friday with a student and alumni luncheon, campus tours, and alumni interviews, followed by a reception at the home of the college’s president, Dr. Marjorie Hass. “I think the 25th anniversary is an incredible milestone,” says Hass. “It’s a great opportunity to reflect on our history and how far we’ve come, and also to set some goals for the future.”

Molly Mulhern '18 and Lee Kezar '19

Saturday’s events focused on professional development in the workplace and how the experience of being LGBTQ+ at Rhodes has evolved over time, with panels and Q&A’s with alumni and professors. That night, GSA hosted a dinner in the McCallum Ballroom, featuring a photo booth and speeches from alumni who attended Rhodes in GSA’s early years. GSA president Lee Kezar ’19 says he was excited to see so many LGBTQ+ community members from all walks of life at the celebration. “I’ve been thinking about this event since last November. It’s a lot of hard work coming into fruition, and I’m so proud of the community for showing up and coming out.”

Molly Mulhern ’18, vice president of GSA, spearheaded the project with Kezar, spending months organizing and planning. And it was well worth it, she says. “Having the opportunity to meet and hear the stories of the founding members of the GSA and those who paved the way for them was an experience I’ll never forget.”

The celebratory weekend concluded with a leadership event concerning the future of GSA at Rhodes.  “I feel very happy that we have established some sort of safety for queer people at Rhodes for 25 years,” says Michelle Ngo ’18, an active member of GSA. “I wish it was a lot longer than that, but what that means is that we have an opportunity to grow on those years.”

By Swaneet Mand ’18