First-generation college students to benefit from grant to Hendrix by The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations have awarded Hendrix College a grant of $267,225.00 to support the Office for Diversity and Inclusion’s 1stGEN@HDX program, a five-year program that addresses the national challenge of supporting and retaining students who are the first in their families to attend college.

The goal of 1stGEN@HDX is to improve the college experience for students who are the first in their families to obtain a four-year degree, and to produce graduates who are prepared for the workforce and graduate school. 1stGEN@HDX anticipates serving up to 20 incoming students each year, providing targeted programming for their first two years of college.

“We are grateful that The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations value the objectives of 1stGEN@HDX,” said Dr. Dionne Jackson ’96, vice president for diversity and inclusion and the College’s chief diversity officer. “We believe what we’ve developed for our first-generation students provides a prototype that could prove helpful for other colleges facing similar challenges. As a first-generation college student, I personally know that this program will make a difference for students at Hendrix, both now and for the rest of their lives.”

Participants in 1stGEN@HDX engage in cohort-based activities that begin their first year and continue through the fall semester of their third year; develop meaningful, guided relationships with trained staff mentors who also were first-generation college students; and design and complete a community-based project or internship. In addition, the program invites family members to participate in workshops and on-campus activities that help increase their understanding of both a liberal arts education and the overall college experience.

“This grant will go directly to help students lead lives of accomplishment integrity, service, and joy—the very values we name in our Statement of Purpose,” said Ginny McMurray, associate vice president of development for the College. “Quite simply, it will give them the tools they need to step into promising futures.”