University of Memphis' First-Generation College Celebration
November 8


2021 First-Generation College Celebration

Dates of Celebration - November 8 - 12

To kick off our week of First-Gen Celebration, the UofM will host the First -Gen Sapphire Awards. This ceremony invites all first-gen students and families in First Scholars, Opportunity Scholars, TRIO/Student Success Programs to recognize the achievements and impact of our students and first-gen advocates. (not a dinner this year due to COVID concerns). Following this event, we will have social media campaigns and pop up events throughout the rest of week including info tabling daily to share resources and information about our new Office of First-Gen Student Success (OFGSS) and the Faces of First Gen Photo Project - this is a daily photo booth to capture images of all of our first-gen students - the booth will send automatic downloads to student phones so long as they tag the OFGSS on Instagram or Twitter or follow our social media sites so we can connect them to the first gen office. All images will also be used then to decorate a first-gen mural in the new office space. One of our social media campaigns will also be First Takes with First Gen Athletes - highlighting athletes who are also first gen

The big event at the end of the week is the Game of Life College Edition - life sized game of life (fill the large lawn in front of the University Center with giant game pieces) with a large spinning wheel and action items.

The participants will go through the game of life (i.e. pick a major - with Career Services, go through college scenarios from housing, finding a campus job, passing courses to the final goal of graduation). We are using this event as a way to get multiple departments involved and connected to our students. Every department that wants to be a stop on the game of life will bring in their own swag and flyers.

Alpha Alpha Alpha - student honor society for first-gen students will also be tabling with us throughout the week to enroll new students.

2020 First-Generation College Celebration

The First Scholars program at the University of Memphis will be posting online and through our social media about our latest project: Faces of First-Gen. This is a photo project led by our students to show the diversity of our first gen faces and also the impact of first-gen students. We will do this through their images and their words as they also describe what it means to be first-gen to them and their families. Each portrait will be taken by a First Scholars alum and feature our students and also include a quote from each student about their experience as a first-gen student. Our goal is to show that though we come from a wide array of backgrounds, we are all first-gen, and we all have a voice that we want to use to continue to close the gaps and create a broader first-gen community and support network on campus.

2019 First-Generation College Celebration

For the 2019 First-Generation College Celebration, the University of Memphis will harness the momentum garnished from the 2018 celebration and host the First-generation Student fair, again, aiming to reach at least 500 first-generation students.

2018 First-Generation College Celebration

The University of Memphis will host a First-Generation Celebration featuring a First-Generation Lunch and Learn located in the University Center. First-generation students will be invited to join first-generation faculty and staff. Faculty and staff will be positioned at tables, and students will have the opportunity discuss topics such as what it means to be first-gen, how to navigate campus resources, as well as share their personal stories of identifying as first-generation and overcoming different obstacles throughout college and beyond. Through these discussions, first-generation students will not only connect with faculty and staff, but also discuss and develop methods for self-advocacy and success both on and off campus. Following this celebration, first-generation students will also be invited to Incredible Pizza where they will be able to network with other first-generation students and celebrate their achievements.


For the latest updates on this celebration, follow @uofmfirstgen on Instagram and Twitter and @umfirstscholars on Instagram, and use #firstscholars, #firstgenmem, and #umfirstgen to show your support!