First-Generation WT Alumni Network Forming; FIRSTGEN Week Kicks Off Nov. 8 

Chip Chandler

Photo provided by WTAMU Communication and Marketing

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124, [email protected]  


CANYON, Texas — As West Texas A&M University looks to reconnect with alumni who were the first in their family to attend college, current first-generation students will celebrate their ongoing accomplishments at the University. 

F1RSTGEN Week kicks off Nov. 8 with a National First-Generation College Student Day celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Jack B. Kelley Student Center Commons. 

While current students are engaged in other activities throughout the week, the student organization also is beginning outreach to WT graduates to found a F1RSTGEN Alumni Network, said Jonathan Cordova, F1RSTGEN adviser and program coordinator for Study Abroad and Nationally Competitive Scholarships. 

“We want to increase student support by connecting with our alumni and working to build scholarship endowments,” Cordova said. “This network will bring awareness of the value of first-generation students to our campus culture and to the community and promote a positive, supportive environment for them.” 

The WT Alumni Association is eager to bring the new chapter on board, said Ronnie Hall, executive director. 

“We are really excited about F1RSTGEN reaching out to their alumni to build and expand their relationship,” Hall said. “This is a great way for alumni to invest in current students and give back to a program that was a huge part of their college career. With the launch of the F1RSTGEN chapter, it will allow alumni to connect and network with each other, as well as with the University.” 

Currently, approximately 49 percent of WT’s student population is first generation. 

F1RSTGEN Week also will include a screening and discussion of the film “Higher Learning” at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 in the JBK Legends Room, a hip-hop dance session from 6 to 7 p.m. Nov. 10 in the Virgil Henson Activities Center, and a game night from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 11 in the JBK Thunder Room. F1RSTGEN also will do social media promotions Nov. 12. 

Meeting the needs of the diverse population of the Texas Panhandle is a key goal of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World. That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One Westcomprehensive fundraising campaign. 


About West Texas A&M University 

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 40 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.


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