Unilag Pays Tribute To Ade Ajayi

The Senate of the University of Lagos, UNILAG, on Monday, held a Special Senate Session in honour of the university’s third Vice Chancellor, late Emeritus Professor Jacob Festus Ade Ajayi.

Ade Ajaiyi, who died August 9 at the age of 85, became UNILAG’s third Vice Chancellor in 1972 and held that position till 1978. The special senate session was an opportunity for the institution, former colleagues, friends, and family to pay their last respects to a man many referred to as the architect of modern UNILAG.

In his tribute, the present and 11th Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof Rahamon Bello, said the late VC would be remembered as an exceptional university administrator, who spurred those around him to new heights of personal achievement.

“We must celebrate the passing of this great academic colossus, who in diverse ways touched the lives of many especially those of us at the University of Lagos. We also owe him an enormous debt of gratitude for pioneering, with a few others, a nationalist historiography, which aimed at giving pride and confidence not only to African nationalists but to scholars on the beauty and essence of their continent,” Bello said.

A First Class graduate of History, Ade Ajayi began his academic career at the History Department of the University of Ibadan where he rapidly rose to a professorship and the head of the department in 1966. In 1972, he moved to UNILAG to become the university’s Vice-Chancellor where he earned a reputation as one of Nigeria’s most distinguished VCs for restoring the university’s academic reputation and for standing up for students and staff against pressure from the then military government.

Those who paid tributes to the late academician include, John Pepper Clark, a foremost Nigerian poet and playwright; Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, a former VC of the institution; Prof. Lazarus Ekwueme and a host of others.

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