Nigerian student, 69 others offered scholarship at Stanford University


The Knight-Hennessy Scholars at Stanford University has announced its 2024 cohort of 90 new scholars, including a Nigerian, Mr David Akanmu.

The Stanford University president emeritus and Shriram Family Director of Knight-Hennessy Scholars, John Hennessy, said in a statement that the 2024 cohort comprise students from 30 countries who will pursue degrees in 45 graduate programmes across all seven graduate schools at Stanford University.
The statement further said among the 2024 scholars, 47 per cent hold a non-U.S. passport while 49 per cent of U.S. scholars identify as a person of color, and 11 per cent have served in the U.S. military.

Akanmu, from Oyo State, is pursuing a PhD in energy science and engineering at the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Lagos, where he was named as the institution’s valedictorian.
Akanmu was the best graduating student at the 54th convocation ceremonies of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) held in January.
The student, who graduated with a perfect cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 5.0 in Civil Engineering, is one of five Africans and the only one from an African-based tertiary institution selected for the 2024 cohort which is the seventh and largest cohort since the inception of the award.

He aims to address the pressing energy distribution challenges in Nigeria and make a significant contribution to solving the global climate crisis through research in clean and renewable energy technologies.

The scholarship recipient has professional experience in engineering and management consulting, including a stint as a business analyst at Boston Consulting Group.

He has engaged in impactful service projects, such as volunteering in Rwanda with AIESEC, initiating a creative climate justice campaign, and co-founding a student Sustainable Development Goals advocacy club. He was awarded the Millennium Oceans Prize for his idea to combat open defecation in the Lagos lagoon and the NNPC/SNEPCo JV Scholarship for academic excellence.

Knight-Hennessy Scholars is a multidisciplinary, multicultural graduate fellowship program spanning all seven schools at Stanford University.

Its scholars receive up to three years of financial support to pursue graduate studies at Stanford while engaging in experiences that prepare them to be visionary, courageous, and collaborative leaders who address complex challenges facing the world. Scholars are selected based on their demonstration of independence of thought, purposeful leadership, and a civic mindset.

“With each new cohort of scholars I am even more encouraged about the future.

“The challenges our world faces are only growing more complex, which validates the importance of our mission here,” Hennessy.
Knight-Hennessy Scholars develops emerging leaders who have a commitment to the greater good and the tools needed to drive meaningful change.
The King Global Leadership Programme is a core part of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars experience, offering a wide range of workshops, lectures, projects, and experiences that complement scholars’ graduate school education, helping them reach their leadership objectives.

“Each scholar brings a unique perspective to our growing community.

“It is inspiring to see them build ties and gain knowledge across disciplines, cultures, and ideologies, contributing to their ability to address the world’s biggest challenges,” the executive director of Knight-Hennessy Scholars, Tina Seelig said.

The application for the 2025 cohort of Knight-Hennessy Scholars opens June 1, 2024, and is due October 9, 2024.

Prospective scholars can attend information sessions to learn about the community, the leadership development program, and the admission process.

Announced in 2016, Knight-Hennessy Scholars is named for Phil Knight, MBA ’62, philanthropist and co-founder of Nike Inc., and John Hennessy, chairman of Alphabet Inc. and president emeritus of Stanford (2000-2016).
Knight-Hennessy Scholars is the largest, university-wide, fully-endowed graduate fellowship in the world.