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Nigerian university loses former Vice Chancellor

A former Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof Cyril Onwumechili, who served the institution from 1979 to 1982 has died at the age of 91, as the university authorities extended condolences to the deceased family, friends, and loved ones.

Penpushing reports that the University Public Relations Officer, Abiodun Olarewaju, confirmed the development in a statement on Friday adding that the university received his death with a heavy heart and deep sadness.

The statement made available said the incumbent Vice Chancellor of the University Prof Adebayo Bamire, described the late former Vice Chancellor as a detribalised Nigerian and a renowned academic of high repute.

Penpushing further reports that Bamire noted that the late professor championed progressive policies, fostered a vibrant academic community, and left an indelible mark on the university during his time as the vice-chancellor.

“Under Professor Cyril Onwumechili’s leadership, the university experienced remarkable growth and advancement in various fields of study, research, and outreach as he spearheaded strategic initiatives that fostered interdisciplinary collaborations, established partnerships with renowned institutions worldwide, and ensured the university’s relevance in an ever-evolving global landscape,” he said.

Penpushing also reports that the Vice Chancellor pointed out that the deceased was an exceptional scholar, renowned for his groundbreaking research as a Physicist, adding that he was compassionate mentor

“In fact, Professor Onwumechili was a compassionate mentor, a trusted confidant whose genuine concern for the well-being of staff, students and faculty resonated deeply within the university community, fostering an environment of support, growth and collaboration,” he added.

Penpushing reports that the late Onwumechili was born in Enugu State in 1932, attended King’s College, Lagos, and bagged a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of London in 1953 as well as a master’s degree from the University of Ibadan in 1954.

The deceased equally received a Doctorate degree from the University of London, became a Professor of Physics at the age of 30 in 1962, aand during his active years, he taught at the University of Ibadan and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Penpushing further reports that Onwumechi in 1979 at the age of 47, was appointed the Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (formerly the University of Ife), was the first Nigerian Geophysicist and the second President of the Nigerian Academy of Science, elected in 1979.

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