Serpentine Society’s 17th Annual Fall Weekend: “Moving Virginia Forward”
Each year during the first weekend in November, over 100 alumni, students and other members of the University’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LBGTQ) community come together to celebrate our successes, recognize notable achievements and renew our pledge to positively impact the lives of UVa’s LGBTQ and allied students.
2015 will be the Society’s 17th Annual Fall Weekend and is being held Friday, November 6th and Saturday, November 7th, 2015. On Friday, from 7:30 p.m. until 10:00, join us at Escafe adjacent to the Downtown Mall for a welcome mixer with alumni, student, faculty and friends.
On Saturday afternoon between 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., we will be hosting an informal fireside chat in the Virginia Room at Alumni Hall with Mayes Award Recipient Claire Kaplan. This will be followed by an open house at the LGBTQ Center on the Lower Level of Newcomb Hall from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The highlight of the weekend is our signature event, the Gala Awards Reception and Dinner on Saturday evening from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in the ballroom of Newcomb Hall. This the one night each year when the University community recognizes the outstanding achievements of LGBTQ alumni and our allies as we gather to celebrate our contributions to our alma mater while reconnecting with our friends and making new and lasting friendships.
The Serpentine Society has announced it will honor Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and Claire Kaplan Ph.D., Program Director at U.Va.’s Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center, with the 2015 Bernard D. Mayes Award for excellence in public service to the LGBTQ community. Both recipients have been unapologetic and highly effective change agents for LGBT rights.
Mark and Claire are being recognized by the Serpentine Society for inspiring leadership and unwavering commitment to the advancement of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Herring and Kaplan will receive their award at the Serpentine Society’s 17th annual gala in Charlottesville on November 7th which benefits its student scholarship funds, grants to the LGBTQ Center on Grounds and philanthropic support for the Fund for LGBTQ Studies in the Women, Gender and Sexuality Program at the University.
Britton Davis, Board Co-Chair for the Serpentine Society said, “This year’s award to AG Herring and Ms. Kaplan is especially meaningful now that marriage equality is the law of the land and spousal benefits are offered to both faculty and staff. This is also the first year since the passing of the award’s namesake this past October. The professional achievements and everyday lives of this year’s Bernard D. Mayes Award recipients demonstrate that all families built on love and support strengthen our communities.”
Also on November 7th, we will be honoring Robert D. Sweeney, Senior Vice President of University Advancement, with the Serpentine Society’s Outstanding Service Award for his unflinching leadership of a LGBTQ-inclusive advancement organization which has driven successful fundraising campaigns for LGBTQ student scholarships, the LGBTQ Center and LGBTQ Studies in the Women, Gender and Sexuality program.
At the gala, we will be joined by three University students who are our 2015 scholarship recipients – Brandon Chinn (Darden ’15) and Thomas Pilnik (College ’16) and Jaime Hartless (GSAS ’17). Brandon and Thomas will be awarded the John A. Herring Scholarship for Social Awareness, and Jaime will receive a Jeffrey L. Reider & Charles F. Otis Endowed Scholarship.
Every year, we seek to include student leaders in our celebration. As we all know students are living on a tight budget, we are reluctant to charge them the cost of the Gala and seek contributions to defray their cost of attending. If you would like to help us continue our outreach to student leaders by sponsoring their attendance, please click here.
The evening’s festivities begin at 7:00 p.m. with a cocktail reception in the Main Lounge outside of Newcomb Hall Ballroom. At 8:00 p.m., guests will move inside the Ballroom for a wonderful Tuscan-style dinner and the presentation of our awards and student scholarships.
Please note that the cut-off date for the room rates on the 7 hotel blocks is Wednesday, September 23, 2015 at midnight Eastern.
Altogether, this will be a great weekend of events on Grounds–we hope you, your friends and family will join us!
We thank you for your continued support,
The Board of Directors of the Serpentine Society