Greetings, Marshall Alumni! 

Like so many of you, I am very proud to have been the first in my family to earn a college degree. Marshall University is rich with first-generation students on our campus today along with thousands of first-generation alumni living and working in many parts of the world. Now, it is time for first-generation alumni from Marshall University to come together and offer support to our current first-generation students. 

Without question, first-generation college students face challenges that, at the time, seem insurmountable. Challenges and opportunities that no one in the family has ever experienced, making it difficult to know where to turn. According to the Education Advisory Board (EAB), about one-third of all first-generation college students will drop out sometime within their first three years. 

That’s where we as first-generation alumni come in. We can share our Marshall stories and experiences and offer much needed guidance, encouragement, and support for first-generation students on Marshall’s campus right now.  

During the week of November 8-12 numerous events took place on campus in celebration of First-Gen Week. We invited all first-gen alumni to come to campus to attend as many events as able. For those who were unable to make it to campus, we still encourage you to share your first-gen success story with us here, so we can share with students and inspire them to continue pressing on toward their educational goals. 

Certainly, many first-generation college students find success and fulfilling careers. Consider Marshall University President-Elect, Mr. Brad D. Smith and the tremendous success he has experienced over his career. He is a very proud Son of Marshall and also a first-gen alumnus.  

Please make plans to join us on campus for First-Gen Week events next year and remember to share your success stories via this link. Until next time, we are…first-gen, and We Are…MARSHALL! 

Matt Hayes 
Executive Director of Alumni Relations