University education in Nigeria started with the establishment of the University of lbadan in 1948 and remained the only university in the country for 12 years until the establishment of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1961 and the University of Ife at the temporary site in Ibadan in 1962. The University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) started with 214 students in five faculties including the Faculty of Science where the Department of Chemistry is a component part. Teaching in the university started with a total teaching, administrative and technical staff strength of about 80. The Department of Chemistry also started academic work in earnest in 1962, with about fifteen expatriate members of staff, only Drs Oke and Ogunkoya were Nigerians. It is noteworthy that these two pioneering lecturers in Chemistry later became Vice-Chancellors – Professor Oke became the pioneer Vice-Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho (1988-1995) and Professor Ogunkoya was Acting Vice Chancellor of Olabisi Onabanjo (Ogun State) University, Ago-Iwoye (1999-2001). The next set of indigenous members of staff recruited into the Department of Chemistry included Drs. Macaulay and Sanni who paved the way for the present Chemical Engineering Department. Also recruited during this period was Dr. Onajobi, who later became a foundation member of staff in the Department of Biochemistry.

The first set of graduates was produced in the 1965/66 academic session. A staff development programme initiated by Professor Oluwasanmi – the indefatigable Vice-Chancellor (1966-1975) soon produced a new crop of lecturers for the Department some of them trained in the best universities in Britain and America. A substantial number of the present members of staff trained under this programme are now Professors in the department.

The first comprehensive undergraduate degree programme based on the course unit system – the first of its kind in the university started in 1976/77 session and graduate studies commenced in 1972/73 session. The department produced her first PhD graduate in 1980 and has since produced several doctorate degree holders of which not less than 15 are among the teaching staff of the Department.

Although, a Nobel Prize might not have been won in the Department, research activities were quite intense, leading to publications in highly recognized international journals. Even at present, though “things are not what they used to be”, a considerable number of research activities is still going on in the Department. A computerized infrared and ultraviolet spectrophotometer procured by the Department has brightened the horizon of research activities.

PRIZES WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT: A prize for academic excellence was instituted in the 199211993 session by the Student’s Chemical Society, OAU chapter, for the best overall student in Chemistry with an overall grade of not less than a second class upper division. A Second Prize known as the Professor Olusegun Ayobami Olubuyide Prize in memory of one of the few first class honours graduate of our department and later a Professor of Chemistry in this university, is for the best student with a first class honours degree. Both prizes attract a cash award and a certificate of merit. Other prizes include those of Prof Layi Ogunkoya for the best students with scores not less than 60 in CHM 307 and CHM 408.

CULTISM is an anathema in modem day academic community and students are strongly warned against cult activities as CULTISM IS BOTH CRIMINAL AND AGAINST ALL HUMAN DECENCY. There are too many academic, social, cultural and religious activities to attract your attention on this campus without getting into cultism.