In 2001, QVA, along with the Women’s Center, the Office of the Dean of Students, and the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs founded and nurtured the LGBTQ Center on Grounds.
Today, the Center’s office space is provided by Newcomb Hall while the salary and benefits for the LGBTQ Student Services and Center Coordinator are fully funded by the Office of the Dean of Students. QVA has provided recurring annual financial support to the center ($10,000+ per year) to bolster targeted programs and services like QVA Scholar receptions, the annual “Love Is” t-shirt campaign, Lavender Graduation, and more, for the benefit of the LGBTQ+ community at UVA.
We thank Richard L. Babson and the Susan A. and Donald P. Babson Charitable Foundation in particular for meaningful support of the LGBTQ Center’s growth.
As the Coordinator of LGBTQ Student Services and Center wrote,
“Thank you [QVA] for your many past contributions as you allowed the University to reshape its efforts towards an increasingly visible and dynamic community. Without your support, we would probably not have an LGBTQ Center at all today. With your continued support, we will not only be able to maintain our current abilities, but keep meeting the growing expectations of a newly powerful, vocal minority community in central Virginia.”
Overview of the Center
The mission of the LGBTQ Center is to foster the development of LGBTQ students, faculty, staff, alumni and allies. It works to raise awareness and inclusion of sexual and gender diversities through programs, outreach, and services that support the advancement of the LGBTQ community.
The LGBTQ Center went through a major transition in 2013 and 2014. It started as a resource center providing support, services, and materials to a highly underrepresented population in higher education. Its operating budget was small and solely funded by QVA through gifts from alumni.
Today, the Center occupies a space four times its original size, provides unpaid internships to several undergraduate students who run most of the programs, and consistently has an increasing group of volunteers who are the front lines of support to incoming students.
The Center also conducts Safe Space trainings for the entire Charlottesville region and supports nearly a dozen LGBTQ-related UVA student groups. It has also sought out an impactful presence in the region by reaching out to community organizations, schools, and local events, such as Charlottesville Pride.
For more information on LGBTQ+ programs, services, and support provided by the LGBTQ Center, please visit their website or their community information page. To stay updated on their events, subscribe to their listserv, and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.