UVU announces initial $3 million in funding for new $15 million First Generation initiative


At the conclusion of the 2018 President’s Scholarship Ball, Utah Valley University President Astrid S. Tuminez announced a new $15 million First Generation initiative aimed at raising funds for scholarships and programming that supports UVU’s first-generation students. President Tuminez noted that generous donors have already committed $3 million. UVU plans to secure full funding of the initiative in the next three to five years.
“UVU says to every person in this valley, ‘Come as you are; bring your dreams,’ and we will help you with the support, structure, and care to make those dreams a reality,” President Tuminez said. “With this First Generation initiative, we want to underline that the dreams of first-generation students are not only valued, but they are achievable.”
According to a 2017 report, 38 percent of UVU students are first generation, meaning neither parent or guardian has completed a bachelor’s degree in the United States. UVU provides mentoring, events, and support through its I Am First program, which automatically includes all first-generation students at UVU. In 2018, 1,280 first-generation students graduated from UVU.  First-generation students are also a key factor in UVU’s Strategic Inclusion Plan, which aims to provide accessible and equitable educational opportunities and resources for all students.
President Tuminez praised the efforts of the UVU staff who work with recruitment, retention, and graduation of first-generation students, particularly those involved directly in the First Generation Student Success Initiative. Their work, alongside that of the entire faculty, staff, and administration, ensures that UVU can live up to its mission to provide a place for all students who wish to achieve their dreams.
“Making each generation a bit better doesn’t just happen — it has to be a conscious goal, and requires the effort of the individual and the kindness of many people who reach out to help,” said Ruth Mathvink, a first-generation student who spoke Saturday night. “This invaluable support helps me and many others to achieve the possible dream.’”
The President’s Scholarship Ball annually raises funds for scholarships that support UVU’s students. As part of the evening’s festivities, the event highlights student achievement in the performing arts and culinary arts programs. It also provides an opportunity to hear directly from those students who benefit from scholarships.
About Utah Valley University
At 39,931 students and growing, Utah Valley University is the largest public university in the state of Utah and one of a few in the nation offering a dual-mission model that combines the rigor and richness of a first-rate teaching university with the openness and vocational programs of a community college. UVU’s unique model, which focuses on student success, engaged learning, rigorous academic programs and faculty-mentored research, is transforming higher education by making it more affordable and accessible to students of all backgrounds.