Stephanie Akpapuna from Lagos, Nigeria, is the valedictorian of the Class of 2016 at Dillard University in New Orleans. She majored in theatre arts and participated in 14 campus productions.
While this in itself is a major accomplishment, what is even more remarkable is that she is the third sister from the same family that has been a valedictorian at Dillard University. Her sister Jennifer was valedictorian of the Class of 2004 and sister Merrilyn earned the same honor in 2014. The sisters are daughters of Rita and Emmanuel Akpapuna. Their father is a prominent dental surgeon in Nigeria.
Stephanie Akpapuna stated that “I’m proud and humbled by the fact that I could do my sisters proud and also keep the legacy they started going. Dillard has been a wonderful experience. I’ve enjoyed my stay here and I’ve learned so much. I would have been a number somewhere else, but at Dillard you are treated as an individual. Here we’re so family oriented and it’s great to have that.”
Akapapuna will continue her education in the master of fine arts degree program in stage and production management at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.