UC has long served as an engine of economic mobility for all Californians, regardless of income or family background. In 2017, an estimated 42 percent of new UC undergraduates were striving to be the first generation in their family to earn a college degree. The UC Marketing Communications team worked to build that successful pilot program into a systemwide effort spanning all 10 campuses with an integrated communication plan. To help those students feel welcome, more than 900 faculty who had also been the first in their families to go to college donned FirstGen T-shirts, buttons, and pins during the first week of classes, shared their stories with students, and offered them mentorship and support.


UC Marketing Communications created a #firstgen identity which was used across T-shirts, pins, and office insignia, allowing hundreds of faculty and academic leaders to identify themselves as first-gen and cast themselves as allies to new, incoming students.

Firstgen logo
Firstgen lapel pin promotional item Firstgen magnet promotional item
Firstgen metal buttons promotional items Firstgen stickers promotional items
UC faculty wearing Firstgen shirts Firstgen business cards


The website showcases UC’s efforts to help first-gen students succeed. It contains messaging on our commitment to educating Californians, profiles of first-gen students across the campuses, illustrations depicting first-gen data pride points and campus resources for students.

Firstgen website landing page
Firstgen website screenshot Firstgen website screenshot
Firstgen illustration


GDUSA Award 2017: FirstGen Branding