Story by Jennifer Manning and Ryan GavinPhoto by Shane Epping
Doris Agwu was honored with the Mizzou G.O.L.D. Award during the annual Leaders Weekend sponsored by the Mizzou Alumni Association. The Mizzou G.O.L.D. Award recognizes a “graduate of the last decade” for their dedicated service to the University of Missouri.
“I was very much taken by surprise, but it was an absolute honor because of how much MBAN and the Alumni Association mean to me,” Agwu says. “I almost felt a little guilty because the work is such a collaborative effort.”
Agwu, a 2008 graduate of MU, has been an active leader in the St. Louis Chapter of the Mizzou Alumni Association. She has been a key advocate for the St. Louis Mizzou Alumni scholarship program, serving as the chair in 2018. In that role she was responsible for reading applications, conducting interviews, and supporting scholarship students throughout their time at Mizzou.
In addition to her involvement with the St. Louis Chapter, she is a dedicated volunteer for the Mizzou Black Alumni Network and has served as a liaison between the St. Louis Chapter and MBAN.
“My parents have always stressed the importance of giving back, and this was a way for me to do it,” Agwu says. “As a Black woman at a PWI, I experienced some things that could be a hindrance to student success.”
Connecting with marginalized groups or populations that face barriers is important to Agwu. She says she wants Black students to know that their lives matter, women to know they have autonomy over their bodies, LGBTQIA students to feel embraced, students with disabilities to know they can access everything, and international students to know they have a home at Mizzou.
“I want all people who come after me to have guidance and opportunities at Mizzou,” Agwu says. “Even with these difficulties, I had an amazing time at Mizzou and want others to know they can have an amazing experience, too. I want them to know these opportunities exist and to help them take advantage of them.”
Agwu recently moved from St. Louis to Columbia, Missouri, to serve as the Director of Engagement for the MU College of Arts and Science.
“A personal touch can make a big difference when students choose a college, and Doris has played a key role in helping many St. Louis Tigers choose Mizzou,” Todd McCubbin, Mizzou Alumni Executive Director, says. “Time and again, Doris has truly gone above and beyond to help students see the value in a Mizzou education.”