News & Events

UMPI hosts its first First Gen Day

The University of Maine at Presque Isle will host its first-ever First-Generation College Celebration Day on Thursday, Nov. 8 in the Campus Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to celebrate and recognize first generation students on campus, throughout the state, and across the country. UMPI’s First Gen Day will shine a light on the number of first generation students active on the UMPI campus and showcase to other first generation students that they are not alone. First Gen Day activities are free and the public is encouraged to attend.

First generation students are defined as students whose parent(s) or legal guardian(s) have not completed a Bachelor’s degree. The event at UMPI to celebrate these students has been organized by Mary Kate Barbosa, UMPI Director of Student Support Services.

Barbosa said that, throughout the event, there will be popcorn and cotton candy served. Starbucks in the Owl’s Nest will have $2 medium coffees available for purchase. Those who attend First Gen Day activities will have the opportunity to make owl snow globes, enjoy a coloring station, and get their own first gen buttons. In addition to celebrating first generation students, there will also be a birthday cake for the 50th Anniversary of Student Support Services.

As a special component to the festivities, the Owls of UMPI Instagram page is featuring a first generation “takeover”, posting stories and photos of students who are first generation college students.

The date of First Gen Day—Nov. 8—marks the 53rd anniversary of the signing of the 1965 Higher Education Act (HEA), which has helped millions of poor students become the first members of their families to earn college degrees. On Nov. 8, college campuses around the nation are asked to hold celebrations, discussions, rallies, and more to recognize first generation students. About 70% of UMPI students are either first generation, disabled, or are income eligible. First Gen Day will give UMPI an opportunity to share stories and start a conversation with students and faculty who fall within that 70%. The campus will also get a chance to honor UMPI’s faculty and staff who come from a first generation background.

For more information about First Gen Day, please contact Mary Kate Barbosa at mary.barbosa@maine.edu or 207-768-9613.