The University of Maine at Presque Isle hosted its second annual First Generation College Celebration Day on Wednesday, Nov. 20 in the Owl’s Nest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., celebrating and honoring first generation students, faculty, and staff on campus and throughout the country. First Gen Day shines a light on the large number of first generation college students that are present on campus and showcases to those students that they are not alone in their endeavors.
First Generation students are defined as college students whose parent(s) or legal guardian(s) have not completed a bachelor’s degree. This event has been organized by Mary Kate Barbosa, UMPI Director of Student Support Services.
This year’s activities included live music, board games, and giveaways. First Gen buttons were handed out to students, staff, and faculty that identify as first generation students and college graduates. Starbucks in the Owl’s Nest had medium lattes or frappes for the price of a small and University Credit Union also offered giveaways during the event.
According to Barbosa, there are more than 200 first generation students who attend UMPI. There are also more than 60 faculty and staff members who are first generation. She said that this event served as a great opportunity to bring everyone together for such a special accomplishment.
The “first generation” students concept was introduced into federal policy by the TRIO community in 1980, during the passage of the Higher Education Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965. Last November, the Council for Opportunity in Education’s Board asked college access and success professionals to join TRIO programs across the country for a First Generation College Celebration on Nov. 8, 2018, which is the anniversary of the Higher Education Act. First Gen Day is now celebrated by hundreds of schools across the country.
For more information about First Gen Day, please contact Mary Kate Barbosa at firstname.lastname@example.org or (207) 768-9613.