Development & Alumni Relations Office 

Professor Akin Adesola, Doctor of Laws 1989 (died 29 May 2010)

Akinpelu Oludele Adesola was an esteemed member of the Queen’s medical Class of 1956, when he graduated MB, BCh, BAO. By the time he left his adopted home in Northern Ireland in 1962, he had held surgical tutor posts in Queen’s, and a number of positions (house surgeon, house officer, senior house officer and surgical registrar) in the Royal Victoria Hospital. He qualified from the University again in 1961 with a Masters in surgery and was to return for a third time in 1989 to receive the ultimate academic accolade, an honorary degree from his Alma Mater.

During the intervening 25 years, Akin Adesola enjoyed an illustrious academic career in surgery at the University of Lagos, becoming successively senior lecturer, professor and head of the Department of Surgery and eventually Deputy Vice-Chancellor. From there he moved

 to the University of Ilorin, also in his native Nigeria, where he served as Vice-Chancellor for a three year term before returning to the University of Lagos as its Vice-Chancellor, a position he held until his retirement in 1988.

As a highly respected academic Professor Adesola was much in demand and he held many visiting professorships in the UK, the USA and Canada and external examiner positions in Nigeria, Ghana and England.

His work for education in Nigeria and across the Commonwealth, as well as his involvement in humanitarian enterprises at home and abroad, was outstanding, and the honours he received – including the Symons Award for ‘outstanding service’ from the Association of Commonwealth Universities – were many and well earned.

Professor Adesola received the degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) on 7th July 1989 in recognition of his exceptional contribution to education and his many academic achievements. In his citation, Professor J F (Sean) Fulton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, singled out how proud the University was of the achievements of one of its own graduates, highlighting the ‘proud tradition of The Yoruba of service and leadership’ of which he said Akin Adesola was a ‘true exemplar’.



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