12:40 PM

UHD Interim President's Message - Celebrating First-Generation Students

Antonio D. Tillis, Ph.D.

Greetings Gators,

November is here, and soon, we will celebrate our 2020 graduates during Commencement. This weekend, however, UHD recognizes the achievements of an important segment of our population … First-Generation Students.

Each year, the Center for First-Generation Success honors those students who are the first in their families to attend a college or university during the national First-Generation College Celebration. On Nov. 8, you can recognize First-Generation Gators with a social media acknowledgement using the hashtag #UHDFirstGen. If you are a First-Gen Student, let people know using the same hashtag. This week, a selection of our outstanding First-Generation Students will be showcased on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 33 percent of college students identify as First-Generation. At UHD, we recognize and support these students. One particular UHD initiative, based within the University College, is UHD First-Gen. This Gator success program provides First-Generation Students with an introduction to UHD and an extensive overview of the resources available to help them succeed.

I, myself, was a proud First-Generation Student and realize the significance of this status. It is indeed an honor to represent your family as the first son, daughter or sibling to attend … and ultimately, graduate from … an institution of higher education. I also know that some of the finest First-Generation Students can be found here at UHD.

The hard work of First-Generation Students—particularly this year—cannot be overstated, and each day, they raise the bar for future Gators. Their accomplishments make their families and all of us at UHD proud, and it is an honor to salute their efforts during this weekend’s First-Generation College Celebration.

Keep up the good work, Gators!


Antonio D. Tillis, Ph.D.
Interim President, University of Houston-Downtown