July 11, 2017

As a newly minted SMU graduate with three degrees, Kovan Barzani not only has exceeded his Kurdish-American parents’ expectations, but also reinforced their decision to flee Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime for “peace and peace of mind” in the U.S.

While weighing three college scholarships during his last year at Liberty High School in Frisco, Kovan recalls his mother’s singular request, delivered with a smile: “Be sure to get at least two degrees – one for you and one for me.”

As it happens, Kovan chose SMU precisely because it could offer not two but the three degrees he sought – in economics, public policy and management – while helping him cultivate the three virtues most valued by his family: “empathy, adaptability and persistence.” Also a plus: His Plano-based family would be nearby as he navigated the next four years.

Read more at SMU News.