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The University of Iowa's First-Generation College Celebration
November 8


2022 First-Generation College Celebration

This week, the University of Iowa, along with hundreds of colleges and universities across the country, will celebrate first-generation college students by participating in the National First-Generation College Celebration on November 8th. The University of Iowa first participated in this celebration in 2018 but chose to mark the occasion with a full week of activities. This tradition has continued every year since then. This year's celebration will be held November 7 - 11, with over 20 events and activities happening throughout the celebration. Examples of these include departmental open houses, lunch with Deans, coffee and donuts, round-table discussions, training opportunities, and more. On Thursday, November 10th the university will hold it's largest event, the 4th annual 1stGen@Iowa Awards and Recognition Ceremony. The university's award winning newspaper will run a feature story during the week and campus-wide emails and other communications are also scheduled. 

2021 First-Generation College Celebration

In 2021, the University of Iowa will continue its tradition of participating in the National First-Generation College Celebration by celebrating over the course of a full week, with departments and colleges and student orgs from across campus hosting events from November 8 - 12. The week will include a training session for faculty and staff, lunches with a dean, panel discussions, social events, a "wear your UI first-gen t-shirt" day and group photo, and more. In addition, on November 11, the university will host the 3rd annual 1stGen@Iowa Awards and Recognition Ceremony. More information can be found here and here. A full schedule of events is available here

2019 First-Generation College Celebration

In 2018, the University of Iowa joined the celebration by hosting an entire week of activities across campus (as opposed to a single day), and plans are already being made for similar participation again this year.

Also, the UI First-Generation Task Force is also pleased to announce the establishment of four 1stGen@Iowa Awards, which will be presented during the first annual First-Generation Student Awards and Recognition Ceremony on November 8. These awards recognize first-generation student achievements as well as outstanding advocacy and support efforts of faculty and staff.

  • The First-Generation Student Achievement Award will honor one first-generation undergraduate student and one first-generation graduate or professional student who has pursued and met ambitious educational goals and demonstrated commitment to academic excellence.
  • The Award for Outstanding First-Generation Student Advocacy will honor one faculty member and one staff member who support first-generation students’ education and serve as an exemplary advocate for first-generation students at the University of Iowa.

A full schedule of events will be posted on our website.

2018 First-Generation College Celebration

In 2018, the University of Iowa’s inaugural participation in the National First-Generation College Celebration was marked by an entire week of activities across campus.

Examples of events included:

  • two screenings of the First Generation film;
  • departmental trainings and data-sharing sessions;
  • FAFSA and financial literacy workshops;
  • opportunities for students to share their experiences via wall postings;
  • multiple coffee breaks or luncheons with college deans, graduate student socials;
  • panel discussions;
  • an open mic gathering;
  • social media postings;
  • university counseling discussions designed specifically for first-generation students; and
  • TA trainings.

In addition, the celebration was featured in University of Iowa media outlets and institutional leaders, including President Harreld, expressed enthusiastic support through campus-wide emails.


For the latest updates on this celebration, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, use #IowaFirstGen and #UIowa, and visit their website to show your support!