California dreamin'

Fares Akremi found both a home and a launchpad at MU.

Fares Akremi, Truman the Tiger and a friend decked out in Black and Gold at a Mizzou Football game

Fares Akremi loved experiencing new things at Mizzou, like cheering on the Tigers from the first row of Tigers Lair with his boyfriend Ryan Levi, BJ/BA '16 and Truman.

A few weeks before graduation in May 2015, Fares Akremi received a special request. The associate dean of the MU College of Arts and Science asked him to be a marshal at the graduation ceremony. He nervously accepted, and he was glad he did.

“The emotions I felt representing my school, standing in front of a crowd of several thousand and seeing my mom’s face as the first of her six sons to graduate college and walk across the stage were overwhelming,” Akremi said. “I was, and continue to be, bursting with gratitude to be Mizzou Made.”

Akremi graduated summa cum laude, or with the highest distinction, with degrees in both political science and cultural geography. His geography degree would come in handy as Akremi, who grew up on a farm near Jamestown, Missouri, was admitted to Stanford Law School and now lives in sunny Palo Alto, California. He will graduate this June. He credits the challenging professors he met during his undergraduate years with empowering him to compete for internationally competitive fellowships and his acceptance to a prestigious law school

Fares Akremi found both a home and a launchpad at MU

“I arrived at Mizzou a scared, self-doubting teenager,” Akremi said. “As a young, gay, mixed-raced kid from a small town, I didn’t have a ton of friends like me before college.”

Even before Akremi attended his first class, he visited campus in high school and immediately found a welcoming, compassionate space at the LGBTQ Resource Center.

“My experience underscores Mizzou’s many—often forgotten—benefits to its community beyond the formal boundaries of campus,” Akremi said.

Now, Akremi is interested in practicing environmental law. He served as the editor in chief of the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and is passionate about environmental issues, politics and immigration rights.

He credits Mizzou’s faculty and staff for making him feel like he belonged by striving to be as personally accessible as possible.

“I learned how to be an engaged citizen,” Akremi said. “I was encouraged to think bigger about how I could positively impact the world.”

Although Fares now lives nearly 2,000 miles away, Mizzou has equipped this Tiger to earn stripes wherever life may lead.

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