10:40 AM

President's Message: Spotlighting UHD’s First-Generation Students

Dear UHD Community,

First-generation students have long comprised a significant segment of the University of Houston-Downtown’s population. Since its inception in 1974, this institution has provided a supportive learning environment for Houstonians, who are often the first in their families to attend college.

It’s indeed an honor to be the first son, daughter, brother or sister to earn a degree. At UHD, we celebrate our first-generation Gators each day and work with them to ensure their success in the classroom and beyond.

On Nov. 8, institutions of higher learning across the U.S. will recognize the achievements of these students during the nationwide First-Generation College Celebration. UHD will acknowledge current first-generation Gators, as well as faculty and staff members who were first-generation students at their respective universities.

Show your support on Nov. 8 by wearing a shirt designed for this very occasion. I am proud to provide T-shirts to the UHD Community with the hashtag #IAmFirstGen recognizing faculty and staff who were first-generation students. Community members also can pick up a #FirstGenProud shirt to support those Gators who are the first in their families to earn degrees.

To reserve your shirt, complete this online survey. Both #IAmFirstGen and #FirstGenProud shirts can be picked up in the Office of University Relations (N912 One Main Building) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Nov. 6 and 7. Supplies are limited.

In addition to sporting these First-Gen T-shirts, you can support our students through social media. Starting Nov. 4, look for posts and stories on UHD’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms showcasing First-Gen Gators. Share this content with others or tag a UHD student who is making his/her family proud and poised to Finish UHD Strong.

Thank you for participating in the upcoming First-Generation College Celebration. I look forward to seeing your First-Gen support next week!


Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz
UHD President


About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.