Efforts to support first-generation students at SUNY Geneseo have been given a boost thanks to a $6,000 gift from The Summit Federal Credit Union.
“While each student’s college journey may differ, first-generation students often face unique challenges and obstacles,” says Laurie Baker ’85, president and CEO of The Summit Federal Credit Union and a member of the Geneseo Foundation Board of Directors. “At The Summit, we are committed to giving back, and supporting first-gen students is a wonderful way to fulfill that mission.”
The College will use the funds to host events for first-generation students during the 2023–24 year, including brunches on November 8 and March 6 and Grab-and-Go Study Days on December 12 and May 9. These events provide an opportunity for first-generation students to form connections with other people across the campus community who were the first in their families to attend college.
Vice President for Enrollment Management Costas Solomou says more than a quarter of the college’s overall student body identifies as first generation, and that number continues to grow.
“As a first-generation college student, I understand the importance of finding a community on campus,” says Solomou. “It is my hope we’ve helped people build a sense of pride in being the first person in their family to graduate from college.”
The college’s inaugural first-generation student celebration in Fall 2022 was well attended by students and staff, including by President Denise Battles, who shared her experiences as a first-gen college student from rural upstate New York.
“I see people across campus welcoming and helping others as they transition to life in a new community at Geneseo,” says Solomou. “It makes me proud to be a Knight.”