Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Hosts Inaugural 'Celebrating First-Generation Students' Week

Amanda Castro-Crist

November 4, 2019


The week celebrates first-generation students, faculty and staff, and those who champion first-generation student success.

The Texas Tech University Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, in collaboration with University Housing, will host the inaugural Celebrating First-Generation Students Week, with events planned today through Friday (Nov. 4-8), as part of receiving support from the Center for First-Generation Student Success and the Council of Opportunity in Education.

"Nov. 8 has been designated as a day to celebrate first-generation, or 'first-gen,' students across the nation in honor of the anniversary of the passage in 1980 of the Higher Education Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965," said Jon Crider, co-chair of the First-Gen Week Committee and director of the Texas Tech McNair Scholars Program. "The week also honors faculty and staff who identify as first-generation college graduates and professionals, while also highlighting those individuals who champion first-generation student success."

First gen logo

The week of events will kick off from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today in the Student Union Building (SUB) near the main entrance, where "I'm First Gen" and "I'm a First-Gen Champion" stickers will be available for those who want to express their support of first-gen students across campus and the nation.

The week will conclude with the latest installment of "Conversations with the Next Generation," a series featuring first-generation college students who have unique backgrounds, passions and stories that serve as real and relatable examples of what success can look like for those who are the first in their family to graduate with a four-year degree. This event, sponsored by DELL Technologies, will take place from noon to 1 p.m. Friday in the SUB Matador Room and will feature Grace Hernandez, who serves as chief of staff in the Office of the President. The event is free and open to the public, and lunch will be provided.

Additional events throughout the week include:
"An Evening with Beverly Daniel Tatum"
7-8 p.m. Monday, SUB Allen Theatre
Beverly Daniel Tatum, a world-renowned author and clinical psychologist, will lead a conversation about race, campus and community. Tatum is widely known for her expertise on race relations and as a leader in higher education. The event is free and open to the public.

Cards for Veterans
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Croslin Room, Library
Participants can show their appreciation for veterans by creating a personalized card.

Celebrate Diversity Banquet
7 p.m. Wednesday, Frazier Alumni Pavilion
Cyntoia Brown-Long, author, speaker and advocate for criminal justice reform, will serve as the keynote speaker for the annual scholarship fundraiser. Three local leaders also will receive recognition at the dinner. Table sponsorships and individual tickets have sold out, but those interested in attending can call (806) 742-7025 to be added to the event waitlist.

First Gen Learning Community: Financial Aid
5-7 p.m., Thursday, Chitwood-Weymouth Learning Community
Participants will hear from the experts in Student Financial Aid & Scholarships, who will explain the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA), and learn how to receive eligible funding.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to share their Celebrating First-Generation Students Week experiences using the following hashtags:
• #TTUIAmFirst
• #TTUFirstGen
• #TTUFirstGenChampion

For more information about the programs and resources, visit the Texas Tech First Generation Transition & Mentoring Programs website.