The University of London will on March 11, 2015 at Barbican Centre in London confer on the Founder and Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola, SAN, a honorary degree of Doctor of Law (LLD).
The honour from the prestigious institution is in recognition of the renowned educationist and erudite lawyer’s contributions to the law profession as well as his numerous humanitarian programmes on education.
Babalola’s law practice spans over 52 years. With it, the frontline legal icon becomes the first African to be so honoured with an LLD in the 179-year history of the University of London, which gave birth to university colleges in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth countries which later became autonomous universities.
The University of London also nurtured the University College, Ibadan, Nigeria,
which was established in 1948 and by inference, all Nigerian universities and continues to have considerable impact on the development of higher education in the Commonwealth and globally.
The cheering news came via a January 16, 2015 letter by the Vice Chancellor of the University of London, Prof. Sir Adrian Smith, who says the university confers its honorary degrees on individuals who have
met some identified requirements of being “a person of conspicuous merit”, and/or “who is outstanding in the field”, “commands international recognition”, “has given exceptional service to the community”, and/or has made an important
contribution to the university”.
Incidentally, Babalola was a beneficiary of the opportunity offered by the University of London as External candidate of its examination, having acquired its Bsc (Econs) and LLB through private study
between late 50s and early 60s.
By this recognition, Babalola has brought honor to the continent of Africa as the third African to receive the honorary degree of the university, the first
African being the former South African President Nelson Mandela honoured with the doctorate degree in Economics of the University in 1996 and the second being Archbishop Desmond Tutu who was
conferred with the honorary degree in Divinity on December 2, 2008.
Others among the list of famous honourees are the celebrated statesman, war hero and distinguished author and politician, Winston Churchill, as well as the poet and writer, T. S. Eliot, and Henry Moore.
Reacting to the Award, an elated Babalola said he believed that the award was in large measure due to the unprecedented and monumental educational landmarks achieved by his five-year old university,