Grace A. Williams
WOMAN WARRIOR ON WEDNESDAY; GRACE ADELE WILLIAMS
Grace Alele Williams was born in 1932 in Delta State, Nigeria. She attended the government school in Warri, and then Queens College in Lagos. She moved on to further her education in the University College of Ibadan (now the University of Ibadan). She was married to the late Professor Babatunde Williams and their union was blessed with five children.
A pioneer who became Nigeria’s first female Professor of Mathematics Education in 1974. She also directed the Institute of Education where she introduced programs such as Professional University Diploma in Education (P.S.E.,) which benefitted teachers and supervisors. She participated in the establishment of the African Mathematics Educational Development Center of Newton, Massachusetts, with a mission improve and promote changes in Mathematics Education in Africa.
This extraordinary woman, Alele Williams, was the first Nigerian woman to receive a doctorate degree, and in 1985, she became the first female Vice Chancellor of an African University when she accepted that position at the University of Benin where she remained as Vice Chancellor until 1991.
After serving as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin, she joined the Board of Directors of Chevron-Texaco Nigeria. She was a consultant to UNESCO and the Institute of International Education Planning for a decade. She also served as the Chairman of the Lagos State Curriculum Review Committee from 1973-1979.
A passionate mathematician who sought to influence changes in mathematics education in Africa, she published a book titled “Modern Mathematics Handbook for Teachers” and wrote articles in national and international academic journals. A woman of purpose and achiever of great things, Professor Grace Alele Williams has won many awards and her life has been nothing but impactful. She currently dedicates her time to counseling women on issues of life and marriage.