Grace Alele-Williams dies at 89
Grace Alele-Williams, Nigeria’s first female university vice-chancellor and first female doctorate degree holder, has died.
The retired professor of mathematics education died on Friday.
Though neither the deceased’s family nor the University of Benin, Edo State, where she served as vice-chancellor, have confirmed the news, an official of the Queen’s College, one of Nigeria’s 104 unity colleges, where she was an alumnus, broke the news.
The development was confirmed by sources at the school, who asked not to be identified because they were not authorised to speak on the subject.
As of the time of filing this report, no calls or messages to the UNIBEN’s spokesperson, Benedicta Ehanire, had been returned on Friday night.
“We lost a Great Queen’s College Old Girl Today,” reads one of the messages shared on Queen’s College’s WhatsApp platforms. Amazonian Professor Grace Alele-Williams, the first female Vice Chancellor of a Nigerian University (UNIBEN), is also a legend.”
When was Grace Alele-Williams born
A professor of education Mrs. Alele-Williams, a teacher, was born on December 16, 1932, in Warri, in what is now Delta State.
She made history by becoming the first female vice-chancellor of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) in Edo State.
Grace Alele-Williams was also the first woman from Nigeria to earn a doctorate degree.
Grace Alele-Williams Early life
Mrs Alele-Williams went to Government School in Warri, Queen’s College in Lagos, and University College in Ibadan, which is now known as the University of Ibadan.
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She returned to her alma mater in 1957 to earn a master’s degree in mathematics and a doctorate in mathematics education from the University of Chicago (US) in 1963, making her the first Nigerian woman to do so.
Mrs Alele-Williams returned to Nigeria for a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Ibadan before joining the University of Lagos in 1965.
In 1985, Grace Alele-Williams was named vice-chancellor of UNIBEN, a position she held until 1992.
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