March 6, 2023

First-Generation DU Students Benefit from Anonymous $10 Million Gift

An anonymous $10 million gift – inspired by a DU student’s praise of a current first-generation program — significantly expands the reach of scholarships and programs for students who are the first in their families to attend college.

For the past six years, first-generation students at DU have benefitted from the 1GENU program, which provides mentoring for the students and programming for families so they can best support their students. 1GENU has proven remarkably successful, with participating students having some of the highest graduation rates of all DU students.

This substantial gift will enable DU to scale that success to reach even more first-generation students through a program called FIRST@DU, which expands the programmatic elements of 1GENU to serve all undergraduate and graduate first-generation students for the next five years. Funding will ensure that all first-generation students have access to advisors, mentors, and programming that build a sense of belonging and contribute to their success. Funding will also open the door to high-impact experiences such as study abroad and internships – experiences that first-generation students often can’t access. Additionally, the endowed portion of the gift will ensure scholarship support for a segment of DU’s first-generation population.

“We have seen through 1GENU that when we provide scholarships and support, such as committed mentorship, to all students, but especially to first-generation students, they thrive. This is the heart of DU’s holistic approach to education, the 4D Experience,” says University of Denver Chancellor, Jeremy Haefner. “This gift expands those opportunities to all first-gen students, transforming their educational journeys now – and in the lives they lead after graduation.”

“Our first-generation students are a remarkable and diverse group,” says Todd Adams, vice chancellor of Student Affairs. “With this investment in the program, far more students will have the support and resources they need to graduate and pursue their professional and personal interests, at DU and beyond.”