Events and Programs

We have First-Generation Initiative events and programs that serve to inform students of various opportunities, share exclusive presentations on career and academic development, celebrate the first-generation identity, increase connectedness, and have fun!

Here is a quick view of our signature events and programs.

Signature events & programs

boy in tent

Welcome (Back) Reception

Occurring annually the first week of classes in the fall, the Welcome (Back) Reception welcomes new and returning first-generation college students to the Hilltop. Surrounded by supportive faculty/staff, we enjoy food and drinks while students are given opportunities to make connections and learn about campus resources.

First Gen Sign at First Gen Fest

First-Gen Fest

First-Gen Fest is SMU's celebration of National First-Gen Day, November 8. The main purpose is to celebrate first-gen students and their journey. While celebrating with music, food and giveaways, students also have an opportunity to connect with different departments, organizations and students. Our goal is for students to leave feeling proud of themselves, supported as a first-gen student, and informed about the resources and opportunities on campus. 

Miss Texas First-Generation Feature

First-Generation Feature

Every semester the First-generation Initiative hosts a distinguished guest speaker from the community or an alumni. First-generation students come from all walks of life. This diverse mix of students varies not only by ethnicity but also in age. These speakers help establish a networking and supportive environment that places importance on mentorship and learning from one another's experiences. 

staff at table

First Gen Faculty And Staff Mixer

The First-Gen Proud Allies faculty and staff members are invited to this signature event designed to celebrate the wonderful faculty and staff members who dedicate their expertise and time to our first-generation students. Allies can stop by for food, activities, giveaways and more! 


group shot

Graduation Celebration

Graduation stoles have long been worn by graduates during commencement ceremonies as a symbol of personal and academic achievement. At the SMU, we are proud to provide stoles to all of our undergraduate first-generation graduating students, to help them mark the significant accomplishment of reaching graduation day. All first-gen students are eligible. Join us for an annual event as we celebration graduation with a reception with graduates and families. 

Upcoming events

See all event dates