PC to Celebrate National First-Gen College Celebration with Weeklong Slate of Events

November 1, 2023

Presbyterian College is putting out the call to celebrate its community of first-generation college students with a full week of events, workshops, and programs, Nov. 4-11.

Nationally, the First-Generation College Celebration is held each Nov. 8 to commemorate the 1965 signing of the Higher Education Act by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The act created federal financial aid programs to fund financial aid programs, including the Federal TRIO programs which promote postsecondary access, retention, and completion for limited income, first-generation students.

PC, however, is spending an entire week celebrating and supporting students who are the first in their family to go to college.

“Although National First-Generation Celebration Day is specifically on Nov. 8 each year, we at PC have committed to celebrating this identity all week long,” said PresbyFirst + director Dr. Joleesa Johnson.” Our focus this year ‘Showcasing the First-Gen Story and Journey!’ We want everyone to know that PC has a strong first-generation student community, and to let everyone know that being first-generation is something to take pride in and use as fuel along their college and life journeys.

“Specifically, we want our first-generation students here at PC to know they are not alone, and that PC has created space and opportunities for them to feel a sense of belonging and have confidence in their ability to thrive here.”

Johnson said everyone is invited to celebrate first-gen students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

PC’s weeklong celebration begins at noon, Saturday, Nov. 4, with the First-Gen Football Game Pack-Out at Bailey Memorial Stadium. First-gen PC students and graduates are being recognized at the game against San Diego.

First-Gen Week really gets going with donuts and giveaways during the kickoff event from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 6, on the Campbell Plaza outside the Cornelson Center. Later that evening, PresbyFirst + is hosting Grocery BINGO from 6-8 p.m. in Kuhne Auditorium.

Two workshops are being held on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Students are invited to “Finish Strong: Game Plan for Final Exams,” hosted by Dr. Karen Compton, coordinator for academic success, from 11 a.m. to noon in Neville 101. At the same time, faculty and staff are invited to engage in “Strengths of Character: I Am First-Gen and I Graduated” in Kuhne Auditorium to share character traits that enabled first-generation community members to complete their four-year degree.

There are three events on National First-Gen Student Day, Nov. 8, beginning with “Candy Cab” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This event is part-trivia contest, part transportation, as the college picks up students and takes them to class while testing their knowledge on first-gen information and PC facts for the chance to win candy.

The college’s second annual Presby First+ pinning ceremony for all first-year, first-gen students will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, in Edmunds Hall. This special event officially recognizes students for their transitions and accomplishments as new first-gen college students.

FIRST will close out the day’s events with “Pancakes and Poetry” – a poetry-reading, pancake-eating program – from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, in the Springs Campus Center Great Room.

On Thursday, Nov. 9, the college’s Career and Professional Development Office is hosting “Selecting Your Major and Minors: A PC National First-Gen Week Workshop” at 11 a.m. in Neville 121 to assist first-gen students develop their course of study.

First-Gen Week will close with an opportunity for first-gen students, faculty, and staff to unwind, network, and fellowship at the First-Gen Friday: Let’s Grill! at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, in the Multicultural Student Union House.

PC’s first-gen community will also be recognized at the men’s basketball game on Thursday, Nov. 9, and at the women’s game on Saturday, Nov. 11.