The authorities of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, have received, with a heavy heart and deep sadness, the news of the passing of the fourth substantive Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Professor Cyril Agodi Onwumechili.
A release by the Public Relations Officer of the University, Abiodun Olarewaju, states that the esteemed former Vice-Chancellor, who passed away at age of Ninety-one (91) years, was a visionary leader, an exceptional academic, and a compassionate individual, who made invaluable contributions to the growth and success of institution.
During his tenure as Vice-Chancellor from 1979 to 1982, the renowned Physicist, Professor Cyril Onwumechili, 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.
Describing the late University helmsman as a detribalised Nigerian and a renowned academic of high repute, the current Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Adebayo Simeon Bamire said that he championed progressive policies, fostered a vibrant academic community, and strived for inclusivity, leaving an indelible mark on the Sixty-two (62) year-old University and the countless lives he touched.
According to him: “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 Bamire further states that beyond his administrative duties, ”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.”
The Vice Chancellor added that : “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”,
Professor Adebayo Simeon Bamire, therefore, extends OAU’s deepest condolences to Professor Cyril Agodi Onwumechili’s family, friends, and loved ones during this difficult time, affirming that the late former VC’s legacy will forever be etched in the annals of Obafemi Awolowo University, serving as a guiding light for future generations. The university will be forever grateful for his unwavering commitment and profound impact.