First-Generation College Celebration


November 8th was selected as the date for the annual National First-Generation College Celebration to honor the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Since 2017, the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) and the Center for First-generation Student Success launched the inaugural First-Generation College Celebration. To honor this day, colleges and universities around the country host events related to the first-generation identity. Elon has hosted celebration events since 2019.


2023 Celebration: To Be First

November 2nd-11th, 2023


About the Theme: To Be First

All of the events this year centers around exploration and reflection around what it means to be a First-Generation College Student. The events this year will provide an opportunity for first-generation students to reflect on that question and feel celebrated. For those who are not first-generation, it will provide an opportunity for them to reflect on who was the person(s) close to them that were first to go to college.

As we gear up for our 5th First-Generation College Celebration, we are excited to announce our theme of “To Be First”. To be first means to take a leap of faith, not knowing what is at the end of the tunnel but knowing that it will be something greater than ever imagined.


Schedule of Events

All Week Long

All week we will be connecting First-Generation students to faculty and staff through the “Take a Student to Lunch” program.


Thursday, November 2

Danieley Coffee Hour

10:30 –11:30 AM | Daniel Commons

Join us as we take over the Danieley Coffee Hour to soft launch our events. Students will have the chance to win a raffle prize and play a large game of WORDLE highlighting words important to the week.

Sponsored by the Danieley Neighborhood and First-Generation Student Support Services

Monday, November 6

First Generation Faculty & Staff Lunch and Learn

12:15 – 1:15 PM | McEwen Dining Engagement Room (by invitation only)

First-Generation Faculty and Staff members will have an space to connect and discuss how they have navigated their professional and personal lives being first-generation and how it shows up in their work supporting students.

Sponsored by the Division of Inclusive Excellence, the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, the Office of Leadership and Professional Development, and First-Generation Student Support Services


First Gen & Me 

6:30 – 8:00 PM | Irazú

Join us for this special paint night with the Odyssey Program as we reflect on what it means to be first. Participate and get a drink on us.

Sponsored by The Odyssey Program and First-Generation Student Support Services

Tuesday, November 7

College Coffee

9:40–10:20 AM | The Great Hall

Join us for fun and photos as we engage the campus community in a pop-up reflection on what it means to be first.

Wednesday, November 8 – National First-Generation College Student Day


11:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Moseley Center

Stop by our pop-up Moseley Tables with University Archives and learn about some of the important “firsts” in Elon’s history. Engage with our video and audio stations to share your story of first-generation in your life.

Sponsored by University Archives and First-Generation Student Support Services


First-Generation Student Celebration

5:30 PM | Young Commons (Rain Location: Alumni Gym)

Join the first-generation community for an evening of community building, games, and fun as we celebrate the first-generation student identity.

Sponsored by the First-Generation Society and First-Generation Student Support Services

Thursday, November 9th

International Coffee Hour Takeover

9:30 – 10:30 AM | Global Education Center

Join us as we celebrate what it means to be first with International Student Services. Food and good vibes will be on hand. Also, a special performance from Melanated Melodies.

Sponsored by International Student Services, Melanated Melodies, and First-Generation Student Support Services


Maker Hub Takeover

5:00 – 6:00 PM | Downtown Maker Hub

First-Generation students are invited to express their creativity and come make/paint a First-Gen Society magnet. Spots are limited. RSVP Here

Sponsored by the First-Generation Society and the Maker Hub


First-Generation Mixer

6:15 PM | Schar Center

Continue to network with faculty and staff members at the Men’s Basketball Game and cheer on our Phoenix to victory. RSVP requested.

Sponsored by First-Generation Student Support Services 


Friday, November 10th

It’s All GREEK To Me

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM | El Centro

As part of Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority Inc’s Founders Week, The Beta Psi Chapter presents, “It’s All GREEK To Me”, in collaboration with our multicultural Greek Organizations, NPHC and First Gen Student Support Services. Join us for a Myth vs Fact segment as well as a panel discussion about our experiences being First-Generation and in Greek life. 

Sponsored by Beta Psi Chapter of Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority, Multicultural Greek Organizations, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, and First-Generation Student Support Services