Minnesota’s oldest university continued its legacy of recognizing “firsts” this week by honoring the Class of 2022’s first-generation graduates at a reception on Tuesday, May 3.
Hamline University honored dozens of graduating students with a reception at Anderson Center, where graduates received a first-generation pin and listened to speeches from Hamline staff, including President Fayneese Miller.
“I know how important it is to be a first-generation student because I am a first-generation student,” President Miller said at the reception. “Neither of my parents got a college degree but they understood the importance—there was no doubt that the expectation was that I would get a college degree.”
As higher education continues to improve its record on equity issues, it is important to note that 52% of Hamline’s first-year students are first-generation college students.
“First-generation students have always had a place at Hamline because we have always provided those opportunities,” said Carlos Sneed, associate dean of students.
In her remarks, President Miller also congratulated the students on rising to meet additional obstacles during their time at Hamline.
“I wish we could have taken away these last few years when we had COVID dictating how we responded to each other and what we did, but I hope you can say that it didn't deter you,” President Miller said. “It didn’t stop you from doing the things you needed to do in order to be a student and earn this degree. You have earned everything that is going to come to you.”