The management of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, on Friday, announced the death of the fourth substantive Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Professor Cyril Agodi Onwumechili.
The Public Relations Officer of the university, Abiodun Olarewaju, in a release, said the ex-VC, who passed on at the age of 91, was a visionary leader, an exceptional academic, and a compassionate individual, who made invaluable contributions to the growth and success of the institution.
The release further stated that during Onwumechili’s tenure as Vice-Chancellor from 1979 to 1982, the renowned physicist played a pivotal role in shaping the university’s trajectory, steering it towards excellence, and upholding its commitment to academic rigor, innovation, and societal impact.
OAU management also noted the late university helmsman was a detribalised Nigerian and a renowned academic of high repute.
Reacting to Onwumechili’s death, the current OAU VC, Prof. Simeon Bamire said the deceased championed progressive policies, fostered a vibrant academic community, and strived for inclusivity, leaving an indelible mark on 62 year-old University and the countless lives he touched.
Bamire further said, “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 collaboration, established partnerships with renowned institutions worldwide, and ensured the university’s relevance in an ever-evolving global landscape.
”Professor Onwumechili was an exceptional scholar, renowned for his groundbreaking research as a Physicist who inspired generations of students and faculty members through his profound knowledge, unwavering dedication, and unrelenting pursuit of academic excellence.
“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.”
Bamire, who extended OAU’s condolences to the late Onwumechili’s family, friends, and loved ones, affirmed that the late former VC’s legacy would forever be etched in the annals of OAU, serving as a guiding light for future generations.