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Yeswefit Founder, Dr Thomas Wilson-Ikubese Pays Tribute to Late Grace Alele-Williams

By Collins Dupson, 26th March, 2022

Following the demise of the first female Vice Chancellor in Nigeria, Prof Grace Alele-Williams, notable Nigerians have started showering encomium on the life and times of the professor of Mathematics.

Among personalities that recognised the noble contributions of the late professor in education development is Dr Thomas Wilson-Ikubese, who referred to her as Mummy.

Paying tribute to her on his facebook account, the CEO of Sckye Hospital in Akure said he was privileged to be a student under her when she was the Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin.

The Facebook tributes read:

REST ON, MUMMY

So, yesterday my mentor went to be with the Lord

In 1991 when I was a “jambito” in the University of Benin, she was the Vice Chancellor.

A no-nonsense, thorough-bred, fearless administrator who managed the institution so admirably that many of us wished we could change our gender…just to be like her!

Grace Alele-Williams was the first Nigerian to be awarded a doctorate.

She became a professor of mathematical education, then the first female Nigerian Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin.

Rest on, great one.

Your seed shall continue to grow through us

Dr Grace Alele-Williams was born on December 16, 1932, in Warri, Delta State. She is the first female to receive a doctorate degree in Nigeria. She attended Government School, Warri and Queens College, Lagos. She obtained a university degree from the University College, now the University of Ibadan. She went on to study at the University of Vermont in the U.S and also studied at the University of Chicago, also in the United States of America.

Grace Alele-Williams’ career as an educator began in 1954. She was a mathematics teacher at Queens School, Ede, Osun State, Nigeria until 1957. It was after that she pursued her graduate studies at the University of Vermont and was appointed a graduate assistant and an assistant professor later. Between 1963 and 1965, she was a post-doctoral research fellow in the department and Institute of Education. From there, she was appointed a professor of mathematics in the University of Lagos in 1976.

At the time Dr Grace Alele-Williams was to head the University of Benin as Vice-Chancellor, the menace of secret cults, crime, confraternities, and societies had spread across Nigerian universities. In those trying times in 1985. The plague that men failed to deal with, she had to conquer. Grace Alele-Williams is an activist on issues not limited to gender alone. She had a passion for mathematics which led her to publish a book titled Modern Mathematics Handbook for Teachers.

She was married to the late Babatunde Williams, with whom she had 5 children.

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