Sarah M. Pritchett
Concord University
Office of Advancement
PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712
(304) 384-6312,

After 4 p.m.
Office: 304-384-5211
Cell: 304-320-6405

November 4, 2021


ATHENS, W.Va. – Concord University is joining colleges and universities across the nation for First-Generation Day on Monday, Nov. 8, 2021.

First-Generation Day is held to celebrate college graduates and students who grew up in a home where neither parent earned a four-year degree. Many of these individuals have overcome barriers to higher education while seeking their goal of degree attainment.

Concord’s celebration is being spearheaded by the University’s First-Generation Committee, made up of TRiO program directors and a first-generation faculty member. The committee includes: Kristen O’Sullivan, Director of Student Support Services; Dr. Rodney Klein, Director of McNair Scholars; Michael Craighead, Director of Upward Bound; Kristen Williams, Director of Veterans Upward Bound; and Dr. Shawn Allen, Assistant Professor of Social Work.

“We are excited to shine a light on our first-generation faculty, staff, and students on Nov. 8, First-Generation Day,” states Kristen O’Sullivan, Director Student Support Services and Chair of the Concord First-Generation Committee. “These scholars contribute an immense depth of lived experience to our campus. As first-generation students and graduates, they prove that all obstacles can be overcome to reach the goal of degree attainment.”

To celebrate First-Generation Day at Concord first-generation students, staff and faculty will wear their “I’m First Gen” T-shirt, and first-generation faculty and staff will display a certificate on their office door.

A compilation of First-Generation stories has been collected from the Concord campus community and is available here

In 2017, the Council for Opportunity in Education and NASPA’s Center for First-Generation Student Success launched the inaugural First-Generation College Celebration on Nov. 8, the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Each year since, colleges across the country have joined in celebrating the first-generation college students on their campuses on this day. This year, College for West Virginia (CFWV) is joining this national effort to celebrate the successes and contributions of first-generation college students, faculty, staff, and alumni in West Virginia.


Please note that the state of the COVID-19 pandemic and Concord’s adherence to CDC guidelines
 could impact how and if events are held. For the most up-to-date information, always check

Currently, face masks or face coverings are required for all individuals while in University facilities,
 regardless of vaccination status.

Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679 extension 6086, if special assistance is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.

Concord University Celebrates First-Generation College Celebration