About 80 people gathered at Charles Commons on Monday afternoon as Johns Hopkins University officially launched its LGBTQ Life program with a reception featuring remarks by university President Ronald J. Daniels; his wife, Joanne Rosen, a human rights lawyer and associate lecturer at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Kevin Shollenberger, vice provost for student affairs; and Demere Woolway, who joined the university in July as JHU's director of LGBTQ Life.
The event took place days before National Coming Out Day on Friday.
"Gathering now feels particularly fitting because, in a sense, Johns Hopkins itself is in the midst of coming out, of embracing and building a more fully-realized identity," Daniels said Monday. "And arriving at this moment—formally launching our LGBTQ Life program—is a significant part of this process."
Woolway, who is also a co-chair of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals that works to support staff on college campuses, discussed her plans for the program.
"I was so excited to see the support from everyone at the reception," said Woolway, who outlined her vision for LGBTQ Life in the September issue of the Gazette. "For the students, it affirmed the wide array of resources and allies that they have on campus. For the staff and faculty, it signaled their willingness to participate in the work of making campus more inclusive. Overall, it was a great start to the year and a great launch for the LGBTQ Life program."
The Diverse Sexuality and Gender Alliance, an undergraduate student organization on the Homewood campus, has planned a celebration on the breezeway on Friday to mark National Coming Out Day. For more information about LGBTQ Life at Hopkins, visit http://web.jhu.edu/LGBTQ/.