Showers of Encomium as Distinguished UNILAG Dons retire

It was a deluge of commendations for Distinguished Professor Cecilia Igwilo and Professor Grace Ukpo of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos as they both take a bow out of active government service having attained the 70 years retirement age.

Held at the Old Great Hall of the College of Medicine University of Lagos, Idi Araba, the Retirement Ceremony which was put together by the Faculty of Pharmacy was an avenue for friends, colleagues, mentees, admirers and well-wishers to identify with the families and relatives of both Distinguished Professor Igwilo and Professor Ukpo as well as to celebrate the duo for what the entire gathering unanimously adjudged a checkered career with many accomplishments in the Pharmaceutical profession.

Speakers at the well-attended event included the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, FAS, who was the Chairman of the ceremony, the Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, Profesor Aderonke Adepoju-Bello alongside colleagues, mentees, former students and well-wishers of the two retiring scholars.

They all took turns to shower encomiums on both Distinguished Professor Cecilia Igwilo and Professor Grace Ukpo adjudging them embodiments of resilience, dignity, hard work, humility, diligence and distinguished accomplishments.

The speakers recalled several fond memories they have with both Distinguished Professor Igwilo and Professor Ukpo in acknowledgment and celebration of their interests, passion, concern, commitment and love for the progress of others, their impacts in the field of Pharmacy as well as their distinctive accomplishments as administrators and academic mentors.

The event featured a lecture delivered by the immediate past Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academics and Research, Professor Oluwole Familoni.

Titled “Accomplished Academic Zenith: Tips, Tools and Threats”, Prof Familoni who was represented by Prof. Layinka Asekun congratulated the two retiring dons and described their accomplishments as enviable track records and testaments of hard work, diligence, tenacity and exemplary sacrifice.

The lecturer challenged those in academics to take queues from the decades of illustrious impacts of the two intellectual giants by forging and fostering professional collaborations, embracing flexibility, being open-minded, setting and attaining new standards, aiming higher and embracing criticisms.

Prof Familoni also cautioned academicians against laxity, financial inducements and incendiary gains which he said, could sabotage their success as researchers and deny them citations and references which are qualities of good academics.

Highlights of the ceremony included presentation of gifts to the retiring Egg heads courtesy of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos where both Distinguished Professor Igwilo and Professor Ukpo served and retired from.

Born on January 23, 1953, Distinguished Professor Cecilia Igwilo holds her place in history as the first female Professor of Pharmacy in Nigeria and the entire West African region having become a Professor in 1994. She is a Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), the current president of the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists (WAPCP) and the Vice-President of ECOWAS Regional Council of Health Professionals Education. She bagged her award of Distinguished Professor of UNILAG in 2017.

Meanwhile, Professor Grace Ukpo joined the service of the University of Lagos in 1994 as a Lecturer II, rose through the ranks and became a Professor in 2018.

She has supervised over 100 undergraduates, 56 M.Sc. and 6 Ph.D. students.

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