In recognition of Wole Soyinka ‘s global status as a writer-activist and as the first African Head of the department, The management of the University of Ibadan has renamed the Arts Theatre to the Wole Soyinka Theatre at the official unveiling on Tuesday, 31st of July 2018.
Professor Wole Soyinka, a Nobel Laureate and an alumnus of the institution was a student of the University of Ibadan between 1952 and 1954. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986. The event had in attendance Notable figures such as Prof. J. P. Clark, Prof. Femi Osofisan, Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Kayode Adebowale, DVC (academic), Prof. Adeyinka Aderinto, the Registrar, Mrs. Olubunmi Faluyi, the university Librarian, Dr. Helen Olubukunola Komolafe Opadeji among others.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abel Idowu Olayinka, in his remarks said his administration had the sole believe in honouring the university’s icons and heroes for their great works and fears achieved, which he said has furthermore placed the University on the radar of global recognition.
He furthermore cited the renaming of the Central Administration Complex after the late Prof. Tekna Tamuno who was the first alumnus to become the Vice Chancellor of the university.
In his own remarks, Theatre Arts Department head, Prof. Matthew Umukoro stated that re-naming the Arts Theatre after Prof. Soyinka was a fitting tribute to one who has brought much honour and glory to the Department and the University of Ibadan, pointing out that Soyinka has become a global icon for scholarship and creativity.
Prof. Soyinka in his own response while beaming with a face of vivacity, expressed his sincere appreciation and gratitude to the University and the Department for the honour, recalling some of the challenges faced in the past while Theatre Arts Department was in its formative stage.