The purpose of the F&M LGBTQ Alumni Council is:
- To provide LGBTQ alumni/ae and friends of the College with a supportive professional and social network of individuals with similar identities
- To reconnect alumni/ae to the ever-changing F&M campus and the current undergraduate population in order to strengthen support for the College and its students
- To allow the experiences of LGBTQ alumni/ae to serve the intellectual, cultural and social well-being of students through role modeling and mentoring
- To support the efforts of the Office of Student and Post-Graduate Development by providing formal and informal graduate school and career guidance to current students and graduates
- To identify opportunities to connect and collaborate with faculty and professional staff on LGBTQ-related academic and programming endeavors
- To inform the educational and administrative practices and policies surrounding institutional inclusion and equity as they relate to sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in order to build on F&M's commitment to being a diverse and affirming institution
Watch the Alumni Weekend panel discussion, "Rainbow Reflections: Panel & Discussion with LGBTQ Identified Alumni," featuring panelists Jeff Aurich '87, Joy Restucci '88, Lawrence Biemiller '80, Brian Rice '01, Sai Somboon '04 and Cheryl Fazio-Hardwick '11, and moderated by Maria Mitchell, professor of history, chair of women's, gender & sexuality studies.
Board of Directors:
President: Erica Gordon '05
Event Planning Director: Austin Williams, MD, M.S.Ed. '07
Marketing & Communications Director: Cheryl Fazio-Hardwick '11
Philanthropy Director: position vacant, contact Erica Gordon '05 if you are interested in this role.
The F&M LGBTQ Alumni Council was officially recognized on Jan. 16, 2016. The council would be remiss without acknowledging the decades of work done by alumni/ae that laid the foundation for this opportunity. In October 1983, the first formalized discussion group for LGBTQ students was put together as a way for students to form friendships and make connections. This group was later granted official club status by the Student Activities Committee at the end of the fall semester of 1984 and began to operate under the name Matrix. Matrix held its first open meeting in Distler Commons on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 1986, on the topic of "Homophobia on Campus" and co-presidents Lilly Rizack '87 and Jeff Aurich '87 led a discussion with the 30+ individuals in attendance. It was not long after graduating from F&M that Aurich joined together with other LGBTQ-identified alumni/ae to form Central Pennsylvania's first gay alumni organization, G.A.L.A. (Gay And Lesbian Alumni). G.A.L.A. officially debuted at Homecoming Weekend in 1993 under the leadership of Lawrence Biemiller '80, and presented a session titled "Recovering Our Past," which allowed alumni/ae to speak about their experiences at F&M. On March 31, 1995, the Allies Resource Center (ARC) opened in the Buchanan basement, as a place for students to seek resources, meet other people and connect in a private environment. The ARC still exists today in the basement of the Steinman College Center.