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Spider Firsts

All first-generation students at Richmond are called Spider Firsts, and are supported by robust programming that comes out of the Office of Common Ground, the University's diversity and inclusion initiative. From communication the summer before you arrive, to a welcome panel on move-in day, all the way to a senior celebration right before you graduate, we offer multiple times to gather with your first-gen peers for advice and support and fun. We also make sure to introduce you to key campus faculty and staff, many of whom were also first-generation students when they were in college, and who can help you navigate the college process and the choices you will make at Richmond. 

New in 2020!! The Spider First Mentors

A new group of first-generation mentors has just been recruited to work with incoming students in the fall of 2020. These academically successful, warm, and personable students will be working in pairs to offer small mentoring groups for first-generation students. They will meet with you regularly as you start the semester so you can bring them any questions you have, and learn the stories of how they navigated UR as the first in their family to go to college. Because there will be small mentoring groups you will also meet some other new students with whom you may have a lot in common. It's a clear win-win. Email invitations will go out the week of July 20 and the priority application deadline is August 1. We will continue to accept students into the groups until we no longer have space. 

The link to the application, and to the mentor pairs, will go live by July 27.

What do Spider Firsts Do?

Some of the key programs and activities of the Spider Firsts program have included the following:

  • Spider Firsts Welcome Dinner, held every year in September with a first-gen faculty speaker, and many faculty and staff from departments who will be instrumental to your success at Richmond
  • Monthly Mingles, evening socials with food in a comfy living room setting
  • Real Talk, with the Spider First Ambassadors, small conversations over dinner with specific topics like study abroad, academic life hacks, and free or affordable things to do in Richmond city
  • Attending the AL1GN conference for first-gen and low-income students at area colleges
  • Networking events with employers and first-gen alumni
  • Senior Celebration where all graduating seniors are given their first-generation cords to wear at graduation

Add in a free t-shirt and stickers and pins, and you understand how much fun, and how much information you will gain by participating in as many Spider Firsts events and programs as you choose.