The University of Richmond featured Grant Yelverton, an ’06 graduate of the of the campus, in a recent issue of the alumni magazine. T0day, the UofR alum has attended Loyola University College of Law in New Orleans where he founded the Lambda Law Alliance.
The article highlights Yelverton’s efforts giving back to the UofR campus and helping drive the school’s diversity and inclusion initiatives through his work coordinating the LGBTQ Spiders Alumni.
After graduating from Richmond, Grant Yelverton, ’06, attended Loyola University College of Law in New Orleans. Learning that the law school was one of only a handful nationally without an organization to support LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) students, Yelverton founded the Lambda Law Alliance there. The group includes both LGBTQ individuals and a significant number of their straight allies.
Grateful for his Richmond experience and interested in giving back to his alma mater, Yelverton sought a way to have a meaningful impact. As a gay alumnus, he was delighted to learn of a commitment in the University’s strategic plan, The Richmond Promise, that Richmond will be a diverse and inclusive community.
“After reading the Promise, I knew what I wanted to do,” Yelverton says. “Forming a networking group for LGBTQ alumni was central to my interests.”
After meetings with University administration, LGBTQ Spiders was born. The group seeks to link LGBTQ alumni in a supportive community that provides opportunities to network professionally and socially. The group also seeks to support current and prospective LGBTQ students. Allies are encouraged to get involved with LGBTQ Spiders.
“Different groups share common professional and social interests all the time,” Yelverton says. “They can meet while playing an intramural sport, be in the same fraternity or sorority, or merely be from the same city. One problem in the LGBTQ community, however, is the potential difficulty in identifying other LGBTQ individuals. Hopefully this new group will allow a relatively decentralized student/alumni community to become more cohesive.”
The networking group’s first event, a campus reception, was held in April. LGBTQ Spiders will hold annual events during Reunion and Homecoming weekends, and will work with members of the University community to support the goals of The Richmond Promise.