National First Generation College Celebration

National First Generation College Celebration Logo

The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement is thrilled to host the National First Generation College Celebration this year between November 7 and 8, 2023! This is a momentous occasion where we get to honor and celebrate the incredible journeys of our first-generation college students, their remarkable achievements, and the unique perspectives they bring to our campus community. We can't wait to showcase the diversity of talent, experiences, and knowledge that first-gen students contribute to our academic family.  Join us in celebrating this momentous time, and let's make it a day to remember. All events are open to every jaguar! For more information, please explore below.


  • TUE. Nov. 7
    Info Table
    11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
    Student Center Mall
  • TUE. Nov. 7
    Digital Branding Workshop
    6:00 PM
    Marx Library Auditorium 110
  • TUE. Nov. 7
    First Gen Mixer
    7:30 PM
    USA Faculty Club
  • Wed. Nov. 8
    Game of Life & Campus Resource Fair 
    10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
    Student Center Amphitheater 
▼   Why Do We Celebrate?
The National First Generation College Celebration commemorates the signing of the Higher Education Act. The Higher Education Act was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on November 8, 1965. The purpose of the Higher Education Act was to strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance to students in postsecondary and higher education. The legislation enabled many to attend college who would not otherwise have had the chance. It covered many bases, including the provision of federal resources for continuing education, community service programs, and stronger library programs and library instruction. In addition, the law supported cooperative arrangements between colleges and universities and the establishment of a National Teacher Corps to attract teachers to underserved institutions. The most far-reaching component was the reduction of financial barriers to attending college. 1965 marked the beginning of a coordinated federal effort to address the issue of financial aid for all students with the establishment of low-interest federal student loans. A subsequent reauthorization of the Act in 1972 led to the creation of the Pell Grant program, which provides need-based grants for students at middle- and lower-income levels. The Higher Education Act undergoes reauthorization through the Federal Negotiated Rulemaking Act procedures. Negotiated Rulemaking is the process Federal Agencies use when there are proposed changes to administrative regulations. Government agencies and affected interest groups gather to comment and negotiate terms of these changes. The Higher Education Act has been reauthorized 9 times: 1968, 1972, 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998, 2008, 2020, 2022.
▼   November 7, 2023

Info Table

Stop by the Student Center Mall from 11:00am to 1:00pm to learn more about what it means to be a first-generation college student and get more information on the National First-Generation College Celebration!


Digital Branding Workshop & First Gen Mixer

Join us for an empowering digital branding workshop, where you'll learn to craft your unique online presence and amplify your personal brand in today's digital world, featuring Kavell Brown from LinkedIn. Following the workshop, forge new connections and strengthen existing ones as you mingle with fellow first-generation students, faculty, and staff! Refreshments will be provided. Click here to claim your spot!

▼   November 8, 2023

Game of Life & Campus Resource Fair

Join us for an exciting life-sized Game of Life! Navigate through real-world scenarios tailored to the challenges and triumphs of first-generation students, and discover campus resources that will empower your academic journey. Refreshments will be provided.

▼   Sponsors and Partners

This year's celebration would not be possible without the support of the following departments: 

Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

University Programs & Jaguar Productions

Multicultural Leadership Center

Student Government Association

Division of Student Affairs