First Things First

At Davidson, a student identifies as a first-generation college student if neither parent/legal guardian graduated from a four-year college or university with a bachelor's degree or equivalent. We have compiled resources available to help them navigate life at Davidson.

A student is still considered to be a first-generation college student even if a sibling has already completed a four-year college degree.

Programs and Events

Support for our first-generation students is campus-wide. Recent events and programming have included:

Students at First Gen Lunch with Doug Hicks

New Student Orientation Lunch

During New Student Orientation, first generation students and their families are welcomed to the Davidson community at a family lunch hosted by the Office of Alumni and Family Engagement (AFE). President Doug Hicks joins faculty and staff, many of whom were first-gen students themselves, to welcome the newest Wildcats to Davidson.

Group of students smiling and standing together

First Generation Week

In 2022, we extended National First-Gen Day in November to a week-long cross-campus effort. Planned by the CSDI and the Matthews Center, collaborators and sponsors include: The E.H. Little Library, Davidson Arts and Creative Engagement, the Health Educators office, the registrar's office, and alumni and family engagement. 

Fall Welcome Dinner

Hosted by the CSDI

First-Gen, First Tuesdays

Hosted by the CSDI and the Matthews Center, with support from the Chaplain's Office and the Center for Student Health & Well-Being, these sessions provide a space for first-gen students to connect with each other and be aware of the many people and departments available to provide individual support and resources.

NEXT Level Scholarship

Aimed for sophomores looking to build gig hub connections, this opportunity is administered by The Jay Hurt Hub for Innovation and the Matthews Center.

National First-Generation College Student Day

Celebrated November 8, the day included a dinner with remarks from President Doug Hicks and Professor Rosalba Esparragoza.

First-Generation Faculty & Staff

It is important for our students to not only feel seen and heard, but also to feel represented by faculty and staff around campus. Get to know faculty and staff who are first-generation.

Meet First-Generation Faculty & Staff

Are you a first-generation college faculty or staff and want to be a part of this list?

Add Your Name to the List



Glossary of Common Higher Ed Terms

Explore this handy guide of helpful general college-related terminology as well as more Wildcat-specific terms.

First-Gen Career Resources

Interested in a career supporting other first-gen students? Explore this compilation of organizations gathered by the Matthews Center.

Davidson Connect First-Generation Group

Connect with other first-generation students and alumni in the Davidson Connect group. Profile creation and login are required to access this group.