Center for Diversity & Enrichment Graduation Reception

Award winners from the 2019 CDE Graduation Reception sit and stand together on the stage, smiling and displaying their CDE medallions and other honors.

Honoring the academic and leadership accomplishments of graduating underrepresented students - photo from May 2019

The Spring 2020 CDE Graduation was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We were proud to celebrate over 120 CDE students earning their degrees, along with faculty and staff across campus. Congratulations again to all the graduates! For details on the event, please go to our Spring 2020 CDE Graduation website:

This website consists of our program, video recording of the full event, two keynote addresses, a special section for our award winners, and student profiles for every graduating student who registered to attend the Graduation. This website will be up permanently so you and your loved ones can look back at any time.

In addition to our virtual celebration, we will be hanging a plaque permanently in the CDE office to recognize all the graduates who were not able to celebrate in person due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. We hope that as you return to campus over the years, you’ll take some time to visit the office, see and take pictures with the plaque, and of course say hello to the staff!

All graduation regalia was mailed to registered students in early June 2020, using the addresses they listed in their MyUI profile.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Sarah Lambert, CDE Graduation 2020 Planning Chair, by emailing them at



CDE Graduation Reception Information

The Center for Diversity and Enrichment Graduation Reception, formerly known as the Multicultural Graduation and Recognition Banquet (MGRB), was established in 1990 by Men’s Athletics, the Graduate College, and Special Support Services. For 30 years, the event has attracted the attention of graduating students, faculty, staff, and community leaders from all cultural backgrounds.

Sarah Lambert, Chair
Center for Diversity & Enrichment
2750 UCC
Iowa City, IA 52240

Alex Deisbeck
Student Athlete Academic Services

Jennifer Eimers
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Haley Kamps
Center for Diversity & Enrichment

Elizabeth Lara
Office of Graduate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Graduate College

Gordon Louie
Graduate College

Mike Meginnis
Center for Diversity & Enrichment 

Steven Wehling
Equal Opportunity & Diversity



Student Leadership Award

The CDE recognizes a handful of graduating students who have acted as leaders and change agents at UI. The deadline for nomination is typically late March - early April.

Student leaders who win this award are:

Visionary - understanding the “larger issues” and demonstrating the ability to articulate their vision, inspiring their peers to action;

Initiators - seeking out and accepting positions of responsibility in groups and organizations, performing tasks with dedication and diligence;

Influential - exhibiting the ability to influence others with sound reason, judgment, and good will, especially with respect to sociopolitical and other issues that affect student life at the university;

Dedicated - volunteering to accept additional tasks, not for reasons of self-interest but because they believe doing so will help achieve the goals of the group.

Deans' Achievement Award

Recipients for the Deans' Achievement Award are nominated by the deans of each academic college, as well as two students from UI Athletics.

Distinguished Educator Award

The Distinguished Educator Award is designed to recognize a faculty or staff member who has exemplified achievement in cultural diversity. The award is in honor of former Assistant Provost and Director of Opportunity at Iowa, Dr. Nancy “Rusty” Barcelo. Her commitment and desire to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the University of Iowa community serves as the inspiration of this award.

If you are graduating, you or your student organization are invited to nominate a (non-student) faculty or staff member at the University of Iowa who has been dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus. The deadline for nomination is typically late March - early April.