First-Generation Students

You can do this.

At Pacific University, about 24 percent of our undergraduate students are the first in their families to attend college. If you will be a first-generation college student, we want to help you make Pacific your home.

Many of our faculty and staff were once in your shoes. They are here to welcome you and help you find your way. Hear from a few of them in the stories below.

Advisor: Stay True to Yourself

Academic advisor Mike Shingle was the first in his family to attend college. Today, he helps other students navigate the college experience and find their own path to success.

Tips for First-Generation Students

About one in four Pacific University students are the first in their family to attend college. US News & World Report recently offered a series of tips for first-generation students to help them navigate their resources.

Mike Geraci '91 | "Ask Yourself What You're Missing"

Use your social networks and ask people questions, says Mike Geraci '91. The first in his family to attend college, Geraci chose Pacific, where he went on to become an associate professor in the Department of Media Arts.

Jaye Cee Whitehead '00 | "Ask Questions"

Jaye Cee Whitehead '00 came to Pacific from rural Wyoming. 'I got here and I had no idea what I was doing," she said. Today, she is an associate professor of sociology, ready and willing to help other first-generation students find their way.

Mike Steele | "Like an Oasis in the Desert"

When Mike Steele was told he should go to college, he named the best he'd heard of: Notre Dame. One of the most beloved professors at Pacific University, Steele went from being the first in his family to attend college to earning a PhD and living a career in academia.

Bob Fitzmorris '08 | "Think About What You Love to Study"

The first in his family to attend college, Bob Fitzmorris '08 is a recent Pacific University graduate — who's a visiting professor at his alma mater.

Jennifer Hardacker | You Think College is for You? Yes!

A high-school counselor once doubted Jennifer Hardacker's ability to attend college. Hardacker was the first in her family to go to college and has gone on to earn a master of fine arts, become an award-winning filmmaker, and teach at Pacific University.

Jeff Grundon '80 | "The Professors Really Are Here for You"

Jeff Grundon '80 was the first in his family to attend college. Today, he recruits other students to Pacific University.

'Pacific Let Me Be Me'

Professor emeritus and retiring handball coach Mike Steele launches an endowment to support the many aspects of Pacific that he loves.