November 6, 2020
Next week, Rutgers–New Brunswick will join our nation’s colleges and universities as we celebrate the contributions and achievements of first-generation students. This event coincides with the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which opened the doors to college for millions of smart, low- and middle-income Americans by establishing need-based grants, work-study opportunities, and federal student loans.
I, too, was the first in my family to attend college. I attended Rutgers as an undergrad and was inspired by the staff and faculty to continue my education. I’ve found that my story is not unique at Rutgers; like me, many of our faculty and staff are first-generation. It’s one of the reasons we understand the grit of our students and are deeply committed to access. We know first-hand how education can be an equalizer.
As a land-grant institution, providing access to a premier education for those with the academic desire and talent has long been a part of our history. More than that, the shared appreciation of education is in our DNA.
If you are a first-generation student, I hope you will take a moment to share your story with the Rutgers–New Brunswick community on social media by using #RUFIRST. You can also email me at ChancellorNB@rutgers.edu to share how your experience as a first-generation has informed the way in which you serve students. I’d love to hear from you.
I hope that you’ll join me as we recognize our first-generation students, faculty, and staff’s accomplishments during next week’s celebration, and support them as they say #RUFIRST.
Christopher Molloy, Ph.D. (PHARM '77, GSNB '87)
Chancellor, Rutgers University–New Brunswick