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Ten things to know about late Nigeria’s first female Vice Chancellor, Alele-Williams

Professor Grace Alele-Williams

Ten things to know about late Nigeria’s first female Vice Chancellor, Alele-Williams

Touchaheart Nigeria reports that Professor Grace Alele-Williams, Nigeria’s first female Vice Chancellor, died on March 25, 2022, at the age of 89.

In 1985, Alele-Williams, the first Nigerian woman to get a doctorate, was named Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin.

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Here are 10 things to know about her:

1 – She was born in Delta State on December 16, 1932, to an Itsekiri mother and an Owan (Edo) father from Sobe.

2 – She attended Government School in Warri, Queens College in Lagos, and Ibadan University College (now the University of Ibadan).

3 – She earned her Master’s degree in Mathematics in 1957 while teaching at Queen’s School in Ede, Osun State, and her PhD in Mathematics Education in 1963 from the University of Chicago (US), making her the first Nigerian woman to receive a doctorate.

4 – In 1976, she was the first female Professor of Mathematics Education in Nigeria.

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5 – When Alele-Williams was appointed Vice Chancellor of the famous University of Benin in 1985, she became the first female Vice Chancellor of a Nigerian university, a position she held until 1992.

6 – From 1965 to 1985, she was a lecturer at the University of Lagos, and then spent a decade as the director of the Institute of Education, where she pioneered non-degree programs, with many of the certificate winners being older women who worked as elementary school teachers.

7 – She was the first president of the African Mathematical Union Commission for Women in Mathematics and served as the Third World Organisation for Women in Science’s regional vice-president for Africa.

8 – Alele-Williams was honored with a number of honors, including the Order of the Niger in 1987, Fellow of the Nigerian Mathematical Association, Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Education, and a commendation award from the former Bendel State in Nigeria. She earned the centennial award on February 28, 2014.

9 – In December 1963, she married Dr. Babatunde A. Williams, a political scientist who was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ife in Osun State at the time.

10 – Alele-Williams had five children and ten grandkids as of 2017.

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