“The Sisters began their journey, road unknown, future uncertain. Yet they were together. They were Sisters. They would be the first to depart, and they would be the first to arrive in the new land.”

(Story of the Single Sisters walk to Salem in 1766, Anonymous)

What does it mean to be first? To the founding sisters of Salem, it meant courage - courage to leave the comfort of home for the sake of establishing roots in a new land. It meant strength - strength to meet challenges along an unfamiliar journey. It meant clarity of purpose - clearly knowing that the journey ahead was important. It meant sisterhood - knowing that the journey ahead was possible because the sisters were connected. They were family.

What does it mean for you to be a Salem First? It means that you are first. You are the first generation in your family to obtain a four-year college degree. Like the founding sisters of Salem, you are courageous. You are strong. You have a clear purpose. You are part of a new sisterhood. YOU ARE SALEM.

Salem Firsts Program Mission

The Salem Firsts program is a joint program between the Office of Student Activities and the Office of Career and Professional Development designed to connect first generation students with the information and resources needed to successfully transition into collegiate life at Salem. 

Salem Firsts Program Overview

As a first-generation college student, you may not have a clear idea of what college will actually be like. Many students arrive on campus and struggle with the new-found freedom, a demanding course load, and an array of clubs and organizations to join. Not to mention that many first-generation students don’t have a parent who has “been-there-and-done-that” to provide guidance, and they may feel pressure to earn money to pay for their college fees or even contribute to their family’s income. Preparation is key. It’s important to be aware of the potential pitfalls prior to arriving on campus, so you don’t find yourself struggling to adjust mid-semester. 

The primary focus of Salem Firsts is to provide support and a firm foundation to first-generation students.  We do this through a 6-week series of Lunch and Learn workshops.  These workshops are facilitated by a collaborative network of campus departments, including faculty, staff, and peer-mentors.

2015-2016 Salem Firsts Schedule

Workshops held every Thursday in the Club Dining Room, unless otherwise noted:

    • August 29 (Welcome & Meet SLC Mentors)
    • September 3  
    • September 10
    • September 17
    • September 24
    • October 1
    • October 9 (Student Center Meeting Rooms - Celebration & Pinning)

Contact Information:

Alan Mueller Headshot

Alan Mueller

Director of Student Activities


Monica Boyd Headshot

Monica Boyd

Director of Career and Professional Development