Initiative deepens support for first-generation, low-income and immigrant members of UChicago community

FLI Network to foster connections and engagement among students, faculty, alumni and staff

Danika Kmetz
Manager of College CommunicationsThe College

As part of its ongoing commitment to support all students as they pursue their undergraduate, graduate and professional studies, the University of Chicago has established the UChicago First-generation, Low-income, Immigrant (FLI) Network.  

A joint initiative of the Center for College Student Success and Student Support Services, the FLI Network aims to create a community of support on campus. It is designed to foster diversity and inclusion at the University, while encouraging deeper connections among students, faculty, administrators and alumni who identify as first-generation, low-income or immigrants.

“The University of Chicago community is one that has been deliberately inclusive because we recognize that a wide range of perspectives and viewpoints is what allows us to propose, test and debate the most innovative ideas,” said John W. Boyer, dean of the College. “As a first-generation student myself, I am delighted we are providing another avenue where students from all backgrounds and places will feel welcomed and supported throughout their entire academic experience.”

A kickoff celebration is planned for this spring, during which the campus community can find out more about the organization and its programming, and register to join the network. The organization will host a number of networking and social activities throughout the year, such as panel discussions in which faculty and administrators will share ways their personal and professional identities are interconnected, tell stories about their time at the University and highlight experiences that uniquely informed their academic and career paths. 

“Students at UChicago come from a diverse range of backgrounds, each with unique interests and ambitions,” said Melissa Gilliam, vice provost of academic leadership, advancement and diversity. “The FLI Network provides a forum where members can connect and celebrate their shared identities and experiences and, in turn, creates a sense of belonging and community among students in order to help them succeed.”

The organization’s website serves as an additional resource for the community, with member features, a calendar of events, links to campus resources and a membership directory. Campus members who would like to support the initiative but do not identify with any of the FLI identities are encouraged to sign up as allies.

Located within UChicago’s Center for Identity + Inclusion, Student Support Services uses a holistic approach to create an environment in which FLI students can thrive and succeed. Founded on the pillars of advising, resources and support, the Center for College Student Success aims to support and celebrate FLI students. Together the organizations provide services that build an inclusive and supportive campus community.

For more information, visit