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Delta State awarded 2022 First Generation College Celebration grant, inaugural event set for Nov. 8-10

CLEVELAND, Miss.—Delta State University was recently awarded a $500 grant from the Center for First-Generation Student Success and the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) to support and celebrate first-generation college students on campus.

Spearheaded by Delta State’s Division of Student Affairs and the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, the funds will be used to host Delta State’s inaugural First-Generation College Celebration Nov. 8-10.

From undergraduate students, graduate students and alumni to faculty and staff—the event is open to everyone and is designed to bring awareness as well as foster cross-collaboration on campus.

“The First-Generation College Celebration on Delta State’s campus will be uplifting and supportive,” said Dr. Eddie Lovin, vice president of Student Affairs. “Personally, knowing the thoughts and concerns that come with being a first-generation student, I am happy that my staff have teamed up to shed light on those frames of minds and are organizing this event to make it a little easier for the future generations to come.”

According to Christina Knight, coordinator for Student Affairs and co-project manager of Delta State’s First-Generation College Celebration, the event is designed to offer support and resources to both current and prospective first-gen students.

“We hope to bring more attention to efforts supporting first-generation students, encouraging and motivating current students to continue their educational journey and welcoming prospective undergraduates who may also be first-generation students,” said Knight.

The three-day event will feature a special space designed for photo opportunities for social media engagement. Participants are encouraged to include the themed hashtags #CelebrateFirstGen #DSUFirstGen and #DSUStrengthInNumbers with their posts.

A breakdown of the event is as follows:

Tuesday, Nov. 8 – DSU’s First-Generation College Celebration Networking Lunch will be held from 12:15 1:30 p.m. on the second floor (east lobby) of the DSU student union. The event is designed to promote student connections and to identify possible mentors among DSU faculty and staff. Attendees will be gifted a custom t-shirt. An informal first-generation student focus group will also be conducted.

Wednesday, Nov. 9– DSU’s First-Generation College Celebration – Strength in Numbers Table will be set up from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first floor of the DSU student union to provide information and survey what students and faculty would like to see implemented within the upcoming semesters to create resources for first-generation students. 

Thursday, Nov. 10 – DSU’s First-Generation College Celebration – Movie Screening – “Personal Statement” is set for 6 p.m. in Jobe Auditorium and will be open to Delta State’s students, prospective students, parents and local school counselors.

“The networking lunch on Nov. 8 will be an opportunity for currently enrolled first-gen students to meet other first-gen students and staff and faculty,” explained Michelle Johansen, coordinator for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and co-project manager of Delta State’s First-Generation College Celebration. “This will be a space for fellowship, sharing advice, and connections for continued success on campus.”

First-gen students, staff and faculty are encouraged to register for the luncheon by clicking HERE.

For questions or more information, contact Christina Knight at or Michelle Johansen at