The LGBT Caucus gives two awards each year at the Annual Lavender Commencement Ceremony – the LGBT Scholarship and the JoAnn Underwood Ally Award.

Lambda Horizons Scholarship

The Lambda Horizons Scholarship, presented by the LGBT Caucus at Virginia Tech, is available to students who have made contributions to the LGBT community through leadership, service, volunteering or research.

The scholarship, awarded at the Lavender Commencement Ceremony in May, provides a one-time gift of up to $500 to a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) student or a student who has demonstrated a willingness to advance the rights and acceptance of the LGBTQ community. This scholarship is available to rising seniors who attend Virginia Tech on a full time basis, and anticipate graduation in Dec. 2015 or May 2016. Candidates must be in good academic standing, posting a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.

Application is made via an on-line form (no hard copies). In addition to this form, all applicants must have a Virginia Tech-affiliated individual submit a letter of recommendation online.

Completed applications, including the letter of recommendation, must be submitted by Friday, March 13, 2015 at 5:00 pm.

Questions? Please contact Phil Nelson ( or Chad Mandala (

Submission of an application implies permission for the LGBT Caucus Scholarship Committee at Virginia Tech to review the applicant’s academic records. Nominees must be prepared to sign a letter of certification with the university’s registrar’s office to release academic information to the LGBT executive committee, which will review the candidates.

Jo Ann Underwood Ally Award

Candidates for the Virginia Tech Ally of the Year award will preferably be an individual member of the faculty or staff, a student, an auxiliary employee, or a person who has a direct affiliation with Virginia Tech. The nominee may or may not identify as LGBT. Exceptions will be made for Blacksburg community members who show exemplary action and dedication to both the university as a whole as well as the LGBT community here.

Candidates will exemplify what it means to be an active supporter of the LGBT community by going above and beyond the “call of duty” to make Blacksburg and Virginia Tech a more open, accepting, and inclusive environment for LGBT persons.

The best candidate will be one who clearly takes on not just a professional role, but a personal role that is open and affirming of individuals within the LGBT community.

Application is made via an on-line form. Nominations can be made by anyone in the Virginia Tech community. Self-nominations will not be accepted.

The executive board of the LGBT Caucus will review all candidates and decide upon one award winner each year, which will be presented in May at the Lavender Commencement Ceremony. The Award was named after Jo Ann Underwood in 2014.

Completed nomination must be submitted by Friday, April 10, 2015 at 5:00 pm.

Lambda Horizons Scholarships

2014 – Ethan Poole
2013 – Caroline Sapyta
2012 – Alexander Sanyer
2011 – Garrett Compton
2010 – Sara Brickman & Tami Grossman
2009 – Emily Mauger

Jo Ann Underwood Ally Awards

2014 – JoAnn Underwood
2013 – Carling Sitterly
2012 – Katie Barrow
2011 – Minjeong Kim
2010 – Anita Nankam
2009 – Kevin Ayoub