The Cultural Center Collaborative consists of four centers: The Asian American Cultural Center, The Center for Latino Arts and Culture, The Paul Robeson Cultural Center, and The Center for Social Justice and LGBT Communities. The centers host a number of unique pre-commencement ceremonies that are complementary to the university’s traditional commencement ceremony and provide a more intimate setting for students, staff, and guests to celebrate graduates. With meaningful cultural and center-specific traditions, each of these pre-commencement ceremonies acknowledge the accomplishments, contributions, and achievements of the graduates and notable leaders within each community. Learn more about each ceremony below.

Rainbow Graduation

The Rainbow Graduation Celebration honors the achievements of Rutgers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) identified undergraduate and graduate students. The event acknowledges the challenges and triumphs experienced in their careers here at Rutgers University. We use this occasion to honor students who have continued our traditions of pride and activism. The celebration is a complement to a traditional graduation ceremony such as University Commencement or other celebrations hosted by academic departments. Graduating students who register will receive a Rainbow Graduation certificate as well as a rainbow graduation tassel (limited supply only).

Hosted by: The Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities

Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Graduation and Leadership Awards (APIDA GALA)

Oour Asian Pacific Islander and Desi American Graduation and Leadership Awards (APIDA GALA) celebrates the outstanding achievements, accomplishments and contributions of individual student leaders, organizations and graduating seniors of the APIDA community at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

Hosted by: Asian American Cultural Center

Rites of Passage Ceremony

The annual Rites of Passage Ceremony is a pre-commencement celebration to honor Black and Latinx-identified students who through resolute persistence have successfully completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at Rutgers University—New Brunswick. The event recognizes their accomplishments, hard work, and dedication, while simultaneously acknowledging the accomplishments of our student’s families and networks of support. Distinguished speakers, student awards, performances, and the incorporation of African culture and traditions—specifically the culminating Kente Stole presentation—all add to the vibrancy of this celebratory day.

Hosted by: Paul Robeson Cultural Center and Center for Latino Arts and Culture

Virtual Pa’lante: Student Leader Graduation Ceremony

The Center for Latino Arts and Culture hosts the Pa’lante: Student Leader Recognition Ceremony to honor the persistence, achievement and service of graduating Latinx-identified and other affiliated undergraduate and graduate students. Pa’lante is traditionally held as a counterpart to Rutgers University Commencement and Rites of Passage Ceremony, and provides an opportunity to recognize individuals who have held leadership positions in student organizations and have contributed to the strengthening of our community at Rutgers University.

Hosted by: Center for Latino Arts and Culture