My First-Gen Graduation

Hailey Morgan Alumni, Education, News

Graduating from the University of Mobile as a first-gen student was simply incredible.

Since my freshman year, I have been a member of RamLegacy, which is a community of first-generation-to-college undergrads led by Professor Barbara Brousseau and two students, Jayda Stinnett and Morgan Phillips. Once a month, we would all gather together to hear an encouraging message from a graduated first-gen individual. These speakers would inspire us with their testimonies and strengthen our resolve to continue pushing toward graduation. In addition, we opened each meeting in prayer and kept in touch with one another outside of our sessions through GroupMe.

At our final meeting of the year, Professor Brousseau pinned all of the graduating seniors. Morgan Phillips, Zsakira Robinson and I were all pinned together and sent off by each of our peers.

At graduation, I was lucky enough to pass by Professor Brousseau on my way to the stage. Being able to see her moments before I accepted my diploma felt like the perfect ending to this chapter of my life. Touching the Great Commission Globe with my RamLegacy pin attached to my stole as my parents watched the procession was the cherry on top! In that moment, I was ready to go out and continue to pursue all that the Lord has in store for my life.

Looking back, I still cannot believe how large our graduating class was! To know that, among the 320 graduates who crossed that stage, there were three first-gen students was sweetly comforting. Bonded together through our first-gen community, we each wore our pins with pride as we accepted our diplomas.

Next year, there will be even more first-gen students walking across the stage. I cannot wait to go and support each of them on their big day!

Banner photo credit: Haley Darby

About the Author

Hailey Morgan

Hailey Morgan is a graduate with a bachelor's in communications and English at the University of Mobile. She won the area award in communication as well as graduated Summa Cum Laude. 2022 graduate, as a freshman she interned in UM’s Office of Marketing and Public Relations. Hailey enjoys reading, listening to music, and writing for fun in her free time.