December 1932, in Warri, in the present Delta State of Nigeria, Grace
Alele-Williams made history as the first Nigerian woman to become the head of a
Nigerian University, namely; the Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin.
Grace is an embodiment of Grace; haven risen through the ranks from a secondary school Maths teacher (at Queen’s school Ede Osun State in 1954 until 1957), to attaining the rank of a Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Lagos in 1976. It is without a doubt, that this woman actually moved through different ranks of the educational structures of Nigeria by grace; more so, graciously.
attended Government School, Warri and Queen’s College, Lagos. She also attended
the University of Ibadan (Previously called University College), the University
of Vermont, U.S.A and the University of Chicago (U.S.A). It
was from Queen’s School, Ede Osun state, that she proceeded to University of
Vermont to become a graduate assistant and eventually, an assistant Professor.
She became a post-doctoral research fellow at the department (and institute) of
education University of Ibadan between 1963 and 1965.
Grace: A Name,
A Trait and An Attribute of Alele-Williams
The name Grace
is well befitting for such a woman; an academic giant; an intellectual
colosssus. Besides being the first Nigerian female Vice-Chancellor of any
Nigerian University, Grace Alele-Williams typified her name in so many ways;
from the offices she occupied, to the appointments she handled. Few of these
achievements, appointments and offices include the facts that:
Some of the
honors conferred upon the intellectual giant and administrator include:
Alele-Williams was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin from 1985 till
1991. She serves as the Chairwoman of the African Mathematical Union Commission
for Women in Mathematics (AMUCWMA).
“Biographical Sketches of famous African mathematicians: Grace Alele-William”, AMUCHMA
Newsletter, Africa Mathematical Union, Commission on the History of
Mathematics in Africa, 12.
 Agnes Scot
 African Success