First-Generation Students, and Their Families, Marvel Over a College Degree

The day before the hullabaloo of Commencement, before rejoicing over degrees and gobbling lobster, before vehicles were packed to move newly minted graduates on to new lives, a handful of students and family members gathered for an intimate event in Moulton Union’s Lancaster Lounge.

They had come for the annual First-Generation Lunch, when Bowdoin honors the students who are the first in their families to graduate from college.

President Barry Mills welcomed the parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents and friends who joined the lunch as guests of students. “I know how much emotion is tied to this,” he said, to the moment when families watch their son or daughter — with years of hard work and generations of hard lives behind them — receive a college degree.

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