UAlbany Will Celebrate First-Generation Students With Week of Events

A smiling UAlbany student in cap and gown holds a bouquet of flowers and a purple sticker identifying herself as a "1st Generation Gradate."
The University at Albany will celebrate students and graduates who were the first in their family to go to college with a week of social and professional events, scheduled for the week of Nov. 7-11.

By Bethany Bump

ALBANY, N.Y. (Nov. 1, 2022) — The University at Albany will celebrate students and graduates who were the first in their family to go to college during National FIRST GEN Celebration Week, set for Nov. 7 to Nov. 11.

The week will include a series of events for students to meet with, socialize and learn from fellow first-generation students, faculty, staff and alumni.

While the definition can vary, first-generation college students are loosely considered to be those who are the first in their family to attend college (or, more narrowly, as the first in their families to complete a four-year degree). Roughly 40 percent of UAlbany students identify as first-generation.

Due to lack of familiarity and knowledge of the higher education landscape, first-generation students may face barriers as they navigate the college experience. UAlbany, through its First Gen Scholars initiative and task force, offers services and programming to support these students from the time they enroll on through to graduation. These include a mentorship match program, skills coaching, academic advice, major or career exploration, and/or social and personal supports to those who request them.

The University was recognized last spring for its work recruiting, supporting and graduating first-generation students when it was designated a 2022-2023 First-gen Forward institution by NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and the Center for First-generation Student Success.

FIRST GEN Celebration Week Events

Monday, Nov. 7

First Gen Faculty Staff Luncheon

12-1:30 p.m. Campus Center Board Room

Meet fellow first gen faculty, staff and allies at UAlbany to hear what’s new at the University as we work to uplift and support our first gen Great Danes. Feel free to bring lunch. Light refreshments will be provided.

Tuesday, Nov. 8

National First Gen College Celebration Day & Ice Cream Social

7-8:30 p.m. Transfer/Commuter Lounge Campus Center

In celebration of all things first gen, the University will have a panel discussion of first gen students, faculty and staff. Prizes and giveaways included.

Wednesday, Nov. 9

The UAlbany First Gen Task Force Presents: Life As A First-Gen Professional

7-8 p.m.via Zoom

Register in advance to hear from a distinguished alumni panel about how they successfully navigated their time at UAlbany and excelled professionally. Panelists will share stories of their experiences here, how to find a mentor, how to network with purpose and explore career paths.

Thursday, Nov. 10

Share Your Thoughts!

6-7:30 p.m. Indigenous Quad Sky Lounge

Attend a pizza social and share your feedback about what it’s like to be a first gen student on campus. What do you need or wish were available on campus? The University wants to hear from you. Prizes and giveaways will be available.