The U’s LGBT Resource Center marked an important milestone last fall as it passed 20 years of serving the U’s queer citizenry. The center started as a place for LGBT folks to find community, but it’s grown to so much more, notes Daniel Cairo BA’06 MEd’09 EdD’20. The assistant vice president for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion was an undergrad when the center launched, and he’s watched it blossom into much more than a social space.
“It’s grown from this little closet of finding connections to being a fully realized center that supports students in a multitude of ways,” says Cairo.
From the annual Pride Week celebration to workshops and career mentoring, the LGBT Resource Center has become a home for our queer denizens and helps students navigate U systems, explore identities, find community, and develop as leaders, says Shelby Hearn, LGBT Resource Center program coordinator.
“Our vision for the LGBT Resource Center is to create a campus where LGBTQIA+ students thrive within every classroom, lab, and organization in the fullness of their complex selves, supported by a community actively engaged in dismantling oppressive systems and critically imagining new ways of living,” says Hearn.
At the 2022 Gay-La, the center celebrated this milestone by honoring Bruce Bastian and Kathryn Bond Stockton, dean of the School for Cultural and Social Transformation, with the first-ever Bastian Pinnacle and Champion Awards, respectively. Bastian donated the funds that contributed to the LGBT Resource Center’s beginnings 20 years ago.
“The awards recognize and will continue to recognize leaders in our Utah community and on campus who support the center in transforming lives of students,” says Bryan Hubain, associate vice president for student development and inclusion.