Grace Alele-Williams, First Female Vice Chancellor in Nigeria has died


The first female Vice Chancellor in Nigeria, Grace Alele-Williams is dead. The 89-year-old professor, who was the first Nigerian woman to receive a Doctorate, died on Friday, March 25.

Late Alele-Williams made history as the first female Vice Chancellor at the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Edo State.

She was born in Warri, Delta state and attended Government School, Warri; Queen’s College, Lagos and the University College of Ibadan (now University of Ibadan).

She obtained a master’s degree in mathematics while teaching at Queen’s School, Ede in Osun State in 1957 and her PhD 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.

Alele-Williams returned to Nigeria for a couple of years’ postdoctoral work at the University of Ibadan before joining the University of Lagos in 1965.

She was appointed the vice-chancellor of the prestigious University of Benin in 1985. Her tenure witnessed a drastic reduction in cultism, a menace in UNIBEN at the time.

Her burial arrangement is to be announced by the family later.