First-Generation College Celebration Week: NAU honors first-generation students past and present

Student holding sign

Northern Arizona University and the Office of First-Generation Programs is hosting a week of events for First-Generation College Celebration Week to honor the signing of the 1965 Higher Education Act (HEA) and to celebrate First-Generation College Celebration Day on Nov. 8. Events will take place from Nov. 2-8.

Nov. 8 marks the 55th anniversary of the HEA act, a legislative document signed to strengthen educational resources of colleges and provide financial assistance to students in postsecondary and higher education. It has helped millions of first-generation and low-income students complete degrees.

Nearly 47 percent of NAU students identify as first-generation college students. This week highlights these students and celebrates their accomplishments.

Kick off the week listening to two students’ stories on LumberChats: Inside NAU and see below for the week’s schedule of free events. All first-generation students, staff, faculty and alumni are invited to attend.

Nov. 2 – Trivia Kick-Off Event, 6 p.m., Zoom

Test your knowledge to win prizes on a variety of topics, which include NAU, northern Arizona, Disney, sports and more.

Nov. 3 – TRiO Tuesday, all day, social media

Share your TRiO story via social media by tagging @NAU1STGEN and #TRIOWORKS. TRiO programs are a set of federally funded college opportunity programs that motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in pursuit of a college degree. NAU has four programs: Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math and Science and Educational Opportunity Centers.

Nov. 4 – Tri-Alpha Launch, 6 p.m., Zoom

The Tri-Alpha Honor Society is hosting an informational session about their work. Tri-Alpha promotes academic excellence and provides opportunities for growth, leadership development and community service for first-generation NAU students, staff, faculty and alumni.

Nov. 5 – “Becoming:” Netflix Watch Party, 6 p.m., Zoom

Watch first-generation college student and former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama’s film “Becoming.” She shares a look into her life, hopes and connection with others. The event is free, but all participants must have access to Netflix to join the Netflix Party.

Nov. 6 – First-Gen Friday: Native Stories, 3 p.m., Zoom

Join a Zoom party to hear stories from first-generation, Native and Indigenous NAU alumni.

Nov. 7 – First Jacks Give Back, all week, University Union Fieldhouse

Throughout the week, write a letter to a veteran or military service member in honor of Veteran’s Day and drop it off at the University Union Fieldhouse, Suite 241. On Nov. 7, staff will take the letters to local veteran and military service members. For those not in Flagstaff, electronic letters can be submitted through the First-Generation Pathways program and will be printed out through the Suitable app.

Nov. 8 – Social Media Spotlight, all day, Instagram and Facebook

Social media will highlight First-Generation student, faculty, staff and alumni stories all day on Instagram and Facebook. Tune-in to @NAU1STGEN and share your first-generation story.