The First Generation Initiative (FGI) is an institutional initiative that strives to build a connected and supportive community of first generation students, faculty, staff, and alumni/ae. The program was started in 2006 and is currently directed by Christine de Denus, an Associate Professor of Chemistry who is first generation herself. At HWS, we define first generation students as students who are the first in their immediate families (not including siblings) to attend a four-year college or university in the United States. It is important to us that all HWS students (~15% are first generation) are welcomed, supported, and encouraged to succeed to their full academic potential.

FGI News

First-Generation Graduates

FG! Grad-00828More than 20 Hobart and William Smith graduates crossed the stage as first-generation students – the first in their families to graduate from a four-year college. In celebration of their…
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Renovated FGI Center Opens Following Design Challenge

FGI Renovations 1This spring, the HWS First Generation Initiative (FGI) announced its Design Challenge to reimagine the FGI Center on the ground floor of Sherrill Hall. Open to all HWS first-generation students,…
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Board Chair Bozzuto ’68 Inaugural First-Gen Speaker

BozzutoFollowing a recent $1 million gift to establish the Bozzuto Family First-Generation Endowed Scholarship, HWS Board Chair Thomas S. Bozzuto ’68 returns to campus as the inaugural First-Generation Initiative (FGI)…
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Christine de Denus
Associate Professor of Chemistry and FGI Director


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.