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Akinlawon '15 elected Young Alumni Trustee, to serve four-year term

Tumi Akinlawon ’15 won the Young Alumni Trustee election and will begin a four-year term as a University trustee on July 1, the University announced on Friday.

The general election ran from April 28 to May 20, and only members of the Class of 2015 could run for the position.

Shawon Jackson ’15 and Hannah Rosenthal ’15 also made it to the runoff election. The three finalists were selected in a primary election among 28 seniors who ran for the position. The Class of 2015 had the largest pool of candidates since 2013, when 39 seniors vied for the position.

Last year, only 17 seniors ran for the position.

Akinlawon is a native of Ikeja, Nigeria, which is a suburb of Nigeria’s capital, Lagos. He majored in mechanical and aerospace engineering and will be working at the Boston Consulting Group’s energy and sustainability practice after graduation.

Akinlawon explained that he is interested in pushing for increased diversity on campus, including diversity among faculty, as well as improved integration of student athletes. Akinlawon explained that board initiatives are already on the way to resolve these issues.

“Balancing everything while being a student athlete is something I personally struggled with. I know people who have experienced [lack of respect] for diversity,” Akinlawon said, adding that he has a profound understanding of the challenges these students confront.

At an international students’ dinner four years ago, Akinlawon spoke to a Young Alumni Trustee and was inspired by the impact and changes one can make while serving in the position.

“The Young Alumni Trustee has the freshest voice on board. I know what the current needs of the students are and what students would potentially need in the future,” Akinlawon said. “The other members on the board are lovely people who are very encouraging. At the luncheon earlier today [a member] encouraged me to ‘speak your mind.’ There will be differences of opinions and disagreements of course, but my opinion will be valued just as much.”

Akinlawon is a member of the men’s track and field team, participating in the 60 meter and 100 meter dashes, as well as the long jump. He previously interned with Black & Veatch, an infrastructure engineering and consulting firm. He is also a Class of 2015 co-chair of Annual Giving.

Akinlawon is also a residential college adviser in Wilson College and has certificates in materials science, sustainable energy and robotics. At the University, he has conducted research on the flow profiles of microfluidic microbial fuel cells. His senior thesis in mechanical engineering researched off-grid power solutions for commercial firms.

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