Grace Alele-Williams would go down in Nigeria’s history as one woman who made a lot of landmark achievements when she was alive.
Alele-Williams, Nigeria’s first female Vice Chancellor passed away on Friday, March 25, 2022, at the age of 89.
Encomiums and tributes have continued to pour in regarding her passing.
READ ALSO: Prof. Grace Alele-Williams Dies At 89
Here are some things to know about her.
1. Alele-Williams was born on December 16, 1932 in Warri, Delta State.
2. She attended Government School, Warri and Queen’s College, Lagos for her secondary education graduating in 1949.
3. She graduated with an Honours Degree in Mathematics at the University College Ibadan now known as University of Ibadan in 1954. After the award of her honours degree in 1954, Alele was appointed as a mathematics teacher at Queen’s School, Ede, Osun State, where she taught from 1954 to 1957.
4. She obtained her master’s degree in mathematics while teaching at Queen’s School, Ede in Osun State in 1957.
5. She bagged her Ph.D. degree in mathematics education at the University of Chicago (U.S.) in 1963, thereby making her the first Nigerian woman to be awarded a doctorate.
6. She returned to Nigeria and spent two years at the University of Ibadan between 1963 – 1965 undertaking postdoctoral work as a post-doctoral research fellow in the department and Institute of Education.
7. She was appointed a professor of mathematics at the University of Lagos in 1976.
8. She was a lecturer at the University of Lagos from 1965 to 1985, and spent a decade directing the institute of education, which introduced innovative non-degree programmes, with many of the certificate recipients older women working as elementary school teachers.
9. In 1985, she was appointed Vice Chancellor of University of Benin making her the first female Vice Chancellor of a Nigerian university. She held the position until 1992.
10. Alele-Williams was a member of governing council, UNESCO Institute of Education. She was also a consultant to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Institute of International Education Planning.
11. In her lifetime, she won many awards some of which include:
Order of the Niger in 1987
Fellow of the Mathematical Association of Nigeria
Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Education.
Merit award of Bendel State in Nigeria
Regional vice-president for Africa of the Third World Organization for Women in Science
First President of the African Mathematical Union Commission for Women in Mathematics
Centenary award (2014)