First-Generation College Celebration Day

On Monday, November 8 of every year, we encourage colleges and universities to celebrate the success of first-generation college students, faculty, and staff on your campus in any and every way possible.


Get funded to reach more first-generation students and graduates this November.

COE and the Center for First-Generation Student Success are pleased to open the 2022 FGCC Grant Opportunity to support your #CelebrateFirstGen plans! This national celebration occurs every year on November 8, to acknowledge and elevate the identities and contributions of first-generation college students and graduates.

Learn more and apply here


We hope you are planning a celebration for 2022!

Join us in establishing a national narrative on first-generation student experiences and outcomes that is asset-based. Use First-Generation Celebration Day as a galvanizing force across your campus community to encourage local communities to learn more about the systemic challenges that afflict higher education, as well as the supports that are required for this vital and resilient demographic to thrive.

In the past, institutions and organizations have invited speakers and delivered programming on first-generation student achievement in prior years, sponsored lunch and learn events, launched mentorship programs, distributed first-generation swag, featured first-generation students on websites, and much more!

Communications efforts can and should involve multiple tactics that will help students identify other first-generation college goers on campus and boost support within the campus community. If sharing information about your event on social platforms, be sure to tag @COEtalk and @FirstgenCenter and use #CelebrateFirstGen!

Share your plans!

Ways to Participate

There are myriad ways to participate in the celebration — even virtually.

At many institutions, November 8 events have grown to week-long, or even month-long celebrations. For the past four years institutions across the nation celebrated first-generation students, faculty, and staff on November 8 and highlighted the important contributions made within those communities. From keynote speakers and brown bag lunches to launching awareness campaigns and new strategic plans, the opportunities for celebrations are endless.

  • Webinars featuring notable first-generation alumni and other speakers,
  •  Virtual panel discussions and forums featuring remarks by first-generation college students and faculty who were first-generation about their college experiences,
  •  Inclusion of first-generation faculty experiences into classroom discussions,
  •  Virtual listening sessions by administration and faculty about first-generation students’ experiences and needs on campus,
  •  Creation of multimedia materials (including video messages) of first-generation students for use in admissions and faculty development sessions,
  • Interviews with trustees, administrators, and faculty who are first-generation.