Elon to host weeklong fifth annual First-Generation Celebration

For the week of Nov. 6 –11, the Center for Access and Success, First-Generation Student Support Services initiative will host its fifth annual celebration, honoring Elon students, faculty and staff who were the first in their family to attend college.

Since the founding of the First-Generation Student Support Services initiative in 2019, Elon University is set to host its community-wide celebration to honor the first-generation students, faculty and staff who were the first in their family to attend college.

The 2022 celebration featured a virtual chat with Dr. Anthony Jack, author of “The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students.” Moderated by Oscar Miranda ’17, former Assistant Director, First-Generation Student Support Services and Dr. Jon Dooley, Vice President of Student Life.

This year’s weeklong celebration will feature a selection of events around the theme of “To Be First,” which will include pop-up Moseley tables highlighting some of the important “firsts” in Elon’s history, a first-generation faculty & staff lunch and learn, a paint night to reflect on what it means to be first, and more.

This year’s celebration pays homage to the uncharted territory first-generation students explore while charting a new and bold future. 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.

Our celebration coincides with National First-Generation College Celebration Day on Nov. 8. Launched by the Center for First-generation Student Success and the Council for Opportunity in Education, the day commemorates the signing of the 1965 Higher Education Act. The act played a role in the creation of the Federal TRIO programs that provide access to and success in higher education for those who are from low-wealth communities and/or are the first in their family to attend college.

Students connected over their first-generation identity during Elon’s first celebration in 2019.

At Elon, a student is a first-generation college student if neither parent(s)/legal guardian(s) has earned a bachelor’s degree. A student is still considered to be a first-generation college student even if a sibling has already completed a four-year college degree.

Check out the list of events below! For any questions or concerns, email the First-Generation Student Support Services Team at firstgen@elon.edu.

Schedule of events

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 a.m. | Danieley 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.

Monday, November 6  

First Generation Faculty & Staff Lunch and Learn 
12:15 –1:15 PM | McEwen Dining (invite only)

First-Generation Faculty and Staff members will have a 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.

First Gen & Me 
6:30 –8:00 PM | Irazú Coffee 

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

Tuesday, November 7  

First Generation at College Coffee   
9:40–10:20 AM | 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.

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.

Thursday, November 9  

International Coffee Hour Takeover 
9:30 – 10:30 AM | 3rd Floor of Global Commons 

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.

First-Gen at the Maker Hub  
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM | Downtown Maker Hub 

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

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.