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Annual LGBTQIA+ Programs

The David Nord Award is presented annually to support LGBTQIA+ focused projects on campus. This award encourages the Whitman community to engage critical issues facing LGBTQIA+ communities through a variety of creative and scholarly mediums. Recipients will receive a cash award along with financial support to complete the project if the project requires it.


Current Whitman College students, faculty members, staff members, and student/faculty/staff teams are eligible to apply. Preference is given to student proposals that directly impact the community through an interactive project.

Projects may include:

  • Creating an art exhibit
  • Producing a video documentary
  • Conducting quantitative or qualitative research projects
  • Developing a collection of poems
  • Writing a play
  • Choreographing a dance performance
  • Others, as appropriate


The application window opened on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023 and will close on Sunday, Oct. 29 at 11:59 p.m. 

How to apply

Proposals will be submitted through email lgbtqia@whitman.edu and should follow the general application form that can be found at this link.

The application form includes:

  • Name of applicant(s) and faculty/staff adviser for student projects.
  • A description of the nature and scope of the project identifying the main issues or themes to be covered.
  • A rationale indicating the impact that the project has on the Whitman community and beyond.
  • A project timeline.
  • A budget for expenses associated with the project, if any.

What is the David Nord Award? 

David Nord, standing outdoors with mountains and icy waters in backgroundThe David Nord award is presented to Current Whitman College students, faculty members, and student/faculty teams to complete projects that address critical issues facing queer communities through a variety of creative and scholarly mediums.

David Nord graduated from Whitman college in 1983 with honors in political science. An active member of Phi Delta Theta, he was elected president of ASWC. Recipient of the Truman Scholarship and the US Senate Leadership Award, he worked as an intern with US Senator Henry M. Jackson and served as a delegate to the 1996 Democratic Party Convention.
David earned his Master’s degree in psychology from Antioch University and had a psychotherapy practice before becoming a full-time researcher and writer. 
He is author of “Multiple Aids-Related Loss: A Handbook for Understanding and Surviving a Perpetual Fall”. In November 1999, David died of AIDS.

David wrote in a 1996 letter to Dean of Students, Chuck Cleveland: 

“I wish I could say that my college memories were mainly pleasant but they were decidedly not. I always felt the need to hide and obviously displaced a lot of my frustration and fear into outward directed energies with mixed results.

I wish that I could have been self aware and confident enough to seek some help while at Whitman. Instead, I remained hidden for many years that were painful beyond description. Therefore, I have a strongly motivated desire to help make things better for the generations which follow. I can hardly tell you how happy I am to hear that the environment is so much better at Whitman. I would like to help make it better in a continuing way.”

A generous and thoughtful alum, he established the endowment for this annual award prior to his death and attended the first presentation in 1996. The award celebrates the LGBTQ+ community and pays tribute to the memory of David Nord.

Lavender Graduation is held every year in May to celebrate the school year, student accomplishments, and specifically graduating LGBTQIA+ students. Graduating seniors will receive a rainbow tassel upon submission of their intent to participate in Lavender Graduation.

To request your tassel or to get more information please contact LGBTQIA+ Student Services at lgbtqia@whitman.edu or 509-522-4410

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