Hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and alumni joined in celebration of Toros who are the first in their family to attend or graduate from college on Nov. 8 for the fourth annual CSUDH “Celebrate First Generation College Students.”
Rain caused a location change for the celebration, but the weather did not dampen the spirits of those who attended. They enthusiastically demonstrated that while first generation students don’t have the family history of college to lean on as they navigate college life, they do have a strong network from other first-gens, the entire campus community, and the many services in place at CSUDH to support their success.
Teddy the Toro, the CSUDH Dance Team, and 20 departments on campus were all on hand to lend their support to the festivities, which included a variety of activities, giveaways, and speeches honoring the contributions of first-generation students.
Over 7,200 current CSUDH students identify as first-generation, meaning they are the first members of their families to attend college. That represents 46.5 percent of the entire Toro student population, a statistic that the university is proud to share as part of its ongoing mission of educational access.
First Generation College Celebration is a nation-wide event to honor the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965. This landmark legislation was created to help level the educational playing field and allow more underrepresented students to pursue a college education. It led to the establishment of many federal programs, such as Upward Bound and TRIO, that continue to assist first-generation students today.