Marian University of Wisconsin's First-Generation College Celebration
2020 First-Generation College Celebration
Marian University will host its First-Generation College Celebration with a week of events from November 2nd to the 6th, highlighting the first-generation identity and pride among its faculty, staff, and students. The TRIO-Student Support Services program will host a panel of its alumni, social-media campaigns around "I'm First! #TRIOworks" led by student leaders, a workshop on the Value of Telling Your Story, a radio-interview with its two TRIO program directors and the new university president, and reflective engagement around first-generation identity in classrooms and sidewalks across campus. Student leaders will also directly engage university leadership for participation via personal invitations and dialogue on the unique experiences, needs, and strengths of the institution's first-generation students.
2019 First-Generation College Celebration
In 2019, Marian University’s TRIO-Student Support Services program hosted a full-day, drop-in reception honoring for first-generation students, staff, and faculty. Prior to the event, staff prepared fact sheets to help prompt reflective dialogue among attendees using data gathered from a university-wide survey. They also created "I'm First! #TRIOworks" buttons for first-generation students and staff, encouraging them to wear them all week in promotion of the event. On event day, the TRIO Study Studio was opened for cupcakes and refreshments. Engagement opportunities included facilitated dialogue on "What does being First-Gen mean to you?" through interpersonal conversation and written engagement via whiteboard, taking 'I'm First!' pictures with photoboards, and documenting and amplifying these interactions via social media. Participating students and even staff/faculty did not realize to what extent Marian is a first-generation supportive-institution (65% of staff and faculty surveyed are first-generation themselves!), but the event helped increase awareness and positive-identity through this initial, and now annual, celebration!