Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

November 2, 2018

UW to Participate in Second Annual National First-Generation College Celebration, Nov. 8

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

As a university community that is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, we know that all student experiences in their various forms contribute to the vibrancy and excellence of our three campuses.

On Thursday, November 8, we will lift up the experiences of our first-generation students when UW Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma join the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE), NASPA Center for First-Generation Student Success and universities across the country to participate in the National First-Generation College Celebration.

“Being the first” in your family or community to attend college comes with a set of unique challenges and all too often our first-generation students feel invisible. As a first-gen student myself, I know this well. I am also aware of the great contributions that are made by our first-gen community members, faculty and staff included. Your experience and perspective make us better as an institution. It brings me great joy that our three campuses can come together to elevate your success during what will be a special day throughout the nation.

2018 First-Gen ButtonTo participate in the celebration and demonstrate to students that many in our community have experienced similar pathways in higher education, faculty and staff who were first-generation college students are invited to wear “I Am First-Gen” buttons this week. Those who still need buttons can pick them up at these locations.

A few events for our first-gen community will take place on November 8 and I encourage everyone to show their pride or support on social media using the national or UW-affiliated hashtags #CelebrateFirstGen, #BeTheFirst, #UWFirstGen or #UWFirstGenGrads. More details about how to participate can be found on our National First Generation College Celebration web site.

I also invite you to learn more about some of the ways in which we support first-gen students throughout our campuses. They comprise an impressive 34.3% of undergraduate enrollment at Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma combined and approximately 21% of the incoming graduate students that joined the UW this autumn.

I look forward to seeing the ways in which you will join us in the celebration this week. Together we will continue to advance educational opportunity for all students.


Rickey Hall

University Diversity Officer


First-Generation Pride

Ask me about being the first in my family to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees