This prestigious award recognizes notable alumni and faculty who have contributed positively to advancing LGBTQ causes both within the University community and beyond. Established in 1999 in honor of the late Bernard D. Mayes, former Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the award was given to him at the 1st Annual Serpentine Society Fall Weekend and Awards Gala on October 30, 1999 for his lifetime support of LGBTQ students at the University. It is presented each year at the Serpentine Society’s Fall Gala. Prior year recipients are listed here.

2016 Recipients

 professional-photo-vmlVictoria Lill

From 2010  to 2011, Victoria served as a staff attorney at Whitman Walker Health’s (WWH) Legal Services Program, which specializes in service to those living with HIV and AIDS in the Metro DC area, as well as the LGBTQ community at large.  While at WWH, Victoria represented more than 50 transgender clients seeking name and/or gender marker changes on identity documentation issued by federal, state and local agencies.  She successfully obtained grants of asylum for 2 male-to-female transgender immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who sought asylum in the United States due to their fear of persecution in their home countries based on their transgender status. 

In 2011, Victoria joined Hogan Lovells as an Associate in their D.C. office, where she continued her work on behalf of the transgender community on a pro bono basis, partnering with WWH to establish the monthly Name and Gender Change Clinic designed to serve the local transgender population in need of pro bono representation with name and/or gender marker changes on identity documentation.  Victoria has served as a supervising attorney at the Name and Gender Change Clinic through 2015 and has helped WWH staff train hundreds of local attorney volunteers on how to legally change names and gender markers in MD, DC and VA.  In 2013, Victoria received Hogan Lovells’ Citizenship Award for her pro bono work with the transgender community.

In 2014, Victoria joined the Educational Opportunities Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, where she enforces federal anti-discrimination laws in the education context, including those that protect LGBT students.  She was a key member of the Department’s team of lawyers who supported a transgender boy, Gavin Grimm, in his dispute with the Gloucester County School Board over his right to use the restroom facilities that correspond with his gender identity.  Victoria also serves on the Civil Right’s Divisions LGBTI Working Group.  She continues to volunteer at WWH’s Name and Gender Change Clinic.




Carter Covington is a writer/producer/showrunner who’s work includes GREEK, HART OF DIXIE, and 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU which he adapted for the small screen. In addition, Carter has been a longtime volunteer and supporter of The Trevor Project, a crisis hotline for at-risk LGBTQAI youth. Volunteering there inspired his most recent venture: MTV’s FAKING IT, the critically-acclaimed comedy that featured television’s first intersex lead character, and groundbreaking storylines around sexuality and gender. Over the show’s three seasons, it received three GLAAD award nominations for Best Comedy and won a Teen Choice Award for Breakout Show. It was also the first TV series to be awarded a key to The City of West Hollywood. It’s message of tolerance and inclusion aired in over 200 countries worldwide including on MTV Russia.

A Winston-Salem, North Carolina native, Covington lives in Los Angeles with his husband Sean, son Mac, dog Pepper, and cat Kinky.