Nigerian Infopedia presents you with the biography of Grace Alele Williams, first woman to earn a doctorate degree in Nigeria and the first woman vice chancellor in the country.
Dr. Mrs. Grace Alele Williams was born on December 16, 1932 in Warri, Delta State, Nigeria. She attended Queens College, Yaba for her secondary education and during her university years, she attended the University College, now the University of Ibadan, the University of Vermont and later, the University of Chicago, both in the United States.
In 1963, Williams became the first Nigerian woman to earn any doctorate – in this case, for mathematics. She later became the first woman appointed vice chancellor of a Nigerian university.
Mrs. Williams made her mark as a first class academician and later proved herself as a skilled administrator, she is one of the first Nigerian women to obtain a PhD in mathematics. She was also the country’s first female vice-chancellor (University of Benin 1985-1991). In 1974 she became the first female professor of mathematics.
In 1973 she was the chairman of the curriculum review committee she is a member of the governing council of UNESCO institute of education, consultant to UNESCO and Institute of International Education Planning as well as member of Africa mathematics programme at Newton Massachusetts USA.
She has also being a vice-president of the World Organisation for Early Childhood Education. Grace Alele-Williams was also on the Vision 2010 committee. A consumate author on mathematics, she is a director of Chevron Nigeria Limited. National honours include Order of the Niger, 1987.
Among her honours are those of Fellow of the Mathematical Association of Nigeria and of the Nigerian Academy of Education; Merit Award Winner of Bendel State in Nigeria; and Regional Vice President for Africa of the Third World Organization for Women in Science (Science in Africa: Women Leading from Strength AAAS, Washington, 1993). Professor Williams is also the Chairperson of AMUCWMA, the African Mathematical Union Commission for Women in Mathematics.
She has five children and ten grandchildren.