First-Gen Week of Celebration

The University of Alabama held our first ever First-Gen Week of Celebration from November 6-11, 2023. Our first-gen community was recognized, supported, and celebrated with events all week, including dinners, networking events, student panels, receptions, parties, and more! Each academic college hosted an event to honor their first-gen communities and we all joined together with three campus-wide events as well. Social Media platforms across campus featured stories of first-gen successes, and banners were hung at the Student Center and Hewson Hall to increase visibility for our community. Over 200 students, faculty, and staff participated in events throughout the week.

Reflections from Campus Partners and Students

“There were very few empty seats, and certainly no lulls in conversation. Everyone seemed to have connected with someone new – whether faculty, staff, or student – and we are hoping these are just the beginning of the relationships to come out of this network.”

Students eating at a table during First-Gen Week of Celebration

First-Gen Staff Mentor with First-Gen Student
“The impactful thing was seeing the number of faculty and staff members in attendance after hours to support this community of students. They took a night away from their family, sat next to a stranger, and made an impact. The first step in supporting these students is being able to show that we recognize them, and by showing up our faculty and staff members were able to do that.“

“The First-Gen Week of Celebration was an amazing week that, from what I can tell, helped a lot of first-gen students get more connected in their college and with other first-gen students. I attended the Arts & Sciences celebration and loved the family table set up that facilitated conversation between many different people. I also got connected to a few people within my college who I can contact if I ever need anything, which I think will help me later.”

First-Gen Mentor and Mentee

“Thinking about the week, a memorable moment for me was when a first gen alum – whom I didn’t know – reached out via email because she noticed our efforts and wanted to explore how she could contribute to those efforts as an alum. Our collective efforts are making an impact and I love that others want to get involved!”

“The first-ever first-gen celebration week was fantastic. All my expectations were surpassed; every event had such a welcoming atmosphere, and the immense support for all the first-generation students was heartwarming. I cannot imagine what next year will bring!”

First Generation Students