The University of Iowa is participating in the National First-Generation College Celebration with a week of events from Nov. 5 to 9, with Nov. 8 being the official national celebration day. I invite everyone to join in the celebration by attending one or more events to learn more about our first-generation students and celebrate their successes. Nearly a quarter of our undergraduate students are first-generation students, defined as those students who do not have a parent or guardian who completed a four-year degree. We value our first-generation students very highly, and we are proud to celebrate their accomplishments.
Student success is among our highest priorities at the University of Iowa and a major pillar of our strategic plan. We want to help ensure success for all of our students given their individual as well as collective backgrounds and needs. First-generation students bring to our campus important perspectives and experiences to share, and they also come to us with particular needs and concerns. As well, many UI faculty and staff were themselves first-generation college students, so they personally understand the first-gen experience and bring that perspective to their work and their support of our students.
For the past couple of years, the First-Gen@Iowa initiative has done tremendous work in educating our university community and supporting first-generation students in their academic and career endeavors. I thank all the faculty, staff, and students who have made this campus-wide initiative a success and continue to advance its cause. I also thank the First-Generation Task Force for its tremendous work and its ongoing efforts.
Now it’s time to celebrate the excellent work we’ve done and, more importantly, the accomplishments of our students. Please join me in participating in National First-Generation College Celebration events across campus, and thank you for the support you give to our talented first-generation students!