Date of Graduation


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The primary purpose of this study is to identify and compare the support of first-generation college graduates with other college graduates in terms of their gift support patterns and frequency of giving to their alma mater. A descriptive study design was used to analyze the data collected through the survey. The primary purpose of this research was to identify aspects of first-generation alumni resulting in reliable information for fund raisers to make better decisions regarding prospect cultivation. To conduct this study, survey instruments were sent to 400 alumni from the undergraduating class of 1975 from West Virginia University. These included a national data base of alumni. Research results show that first-generation alumni did not contribute more frequently to their alma mater than other generation alumni regardless of their personal and professional circumstances. Third-generation alumni were the predominant group in terms of frequency of gifts in the majority of the categories. Although the characteristics and categories compared to each generation varied significantly, there was very little deviance in percentage of giving compared to each generation. Data from this study should provide colleges and universities with information of first-generation private support of higher education institutions.