CWU News

CWU to Raise Rainbow Flag over Barge Hall to Kick Off Pride Week

CWU President James L. Gaudino will participate in raising a rainbow flag, the symbol of LGBT pride, during a ceremony at 11 a.m. May 23 in the Barge Hall courtyard. The event kicks off Pride Week on campus, May 30-June 4.

The rainbow flag will accompany the American flag and the Washington state flag over Barge Hall, the oldest building on campus. It is the first time a rainbow flag has been flown over the 1893 building.

“It is my privilege to raise a flag that represents the spirit of inclusiveness and acceptance,” Gaudino said. “At Central, we embrace our diversity and believe it’s part of what makes for a welcoming and nurturing campus environment.”

For the ceremony, Gaudino will be joined by Patrick Carpenter, president of EQuAl (Equality Through Queers and Allies); Nikki Marra, CWU Pride committee chair; Ryan Anderson, student body president; and Olivia Durham, student body vice president for equity and community affairs.

CWU Pride Week celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community with a series of events across campus May 30-June 4. This year's theme is "One Proud World." Events include a weeklong queer art show, a block party on Tuesday, the first openly gay NFL player Michael Sam on Wednesday, Lavender Graduation on Thursday, a professional drag show on Friday, and the Pride Parade on Saturday. A complete listing of events is available online.

Pride is a national movement that embraces lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual and ally culture. CWU believes that diversity of peoples, cultures, and ideas is essential to learning, discovery, and creative expression. The university is committed to creating an environment that treasures differences and provides opportunities for all to learn.

Campus Pride, a leading national nonprofit working to encourage safe campuses for LGBT students, named CWU one of the top 50 LGBT-friendly universities in the nation. Additionally, CWU was the only four-year university in Washington to receive the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award in 2015 (and the only to receive it two years in a row).

Media contact: Barb Arnott, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-2841,

May 19, 2016