The late Chief Hope Harriman (1933 - 2012) a renowned philanthropist, studied at the Government College, Ibadan and was at the Christ’s College, Cambridge between 1955 and 1958.

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Professor Samuel Adedapo Olaitan (Sam Olaitan)

Sam Olaitan was born on 10 September 1932 to Venerable Daniel Ademola Olaitan (1898-1970), a priest serving in Igbara-Oke.

He started his education at Emmanuel School, Isonyin and in January 1944, he proceeded to the prestigious King’s College, Lagos for his secondary education as a scholar. His father helped several children in Isonyin to gain entrance to secondary schools by providing them free tuition and it is said today that through his efforts, it has been possible for every household in Isonyin to boast of at least one high school graduate.

After completing his secondary education, Olaitan went to the University College, Ibadan, which was linked to the University of London, which meant all graduands were officially awarded their degree (as per colonial custom) through the accreditation of that institution. In 1953/4, he was the University prize winner in Chemistry for the best performance. He obtained a BSc in zoology and completed his studies at Ibadan in 1957 with a BSc in Chemistry.

His exemplary academic career at Ibadan won him a Federal Government scholarship to study at Christ’s College, Cambridge, to which he ‘came up’ in December 1957. He was awarded his PhD in biochemistry on July 10, 1961. (The photograph, sourced from the University of Cambridge’s Biochemistry department archive, indicates Olaitan on the day of his graduation.)

Upon returning to Nigeria in January 1962, he became a Senior Research Officer at the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), where he stayed until May 1962. Thereafter, he became a Lecturer in biochemistry at the University of Lagos Medical School (now known as the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, CMUL). He rose to the position of Associate Professor in September 1974 and then moved to the University of Benin, where he was appointed to the Professorial Chair in Biochemistry.

In the same year, he became the Dean of the Faculty of Science and retired voluntarily in November 1978.
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