- Norman Alexander is the first vice-chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, who was also instrumental to its founding
- The first vice-chancellor was also passionate about creating universities across the commonwealth regions as he established more institutions
- Alexander also rose from humble beginnings, being from a family of eight children who also had to farm growing up
Norman Alexander, the first vice-chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, is a very known physicist who contributed to the establishment of many commonwealth universities across the globe.
According to Abusite, he was born in Mangapiko, a place in New Zealand, and was one of several children of his family. As obtainable in the pastoral days that he lived, he engaged in farm activities.
The rigour of farming instilled in him the emotional skill of resilience, ability to confront issues and solve them, and the understanding and adaption to cultures.
The scholar graduated from Auckland University with a first-class degree in Physics before he proceeded on a scholarship to study at Cambridge in 1930 for his PhD programme. On the expiration of his two-year scholarship, he had to sponsor the rest.
One of his first achievements was that he designed tools for projects useful for naval navigation in radio technology.
When in Changi Gaol, where he was held as a prisoner, he worked with his fellow inmates on the building a salt evaporation plant.
After his release from the prison, he went back to teaching and joined his friends at Raffles College where he drew up an interesting admission test where he increased the chances of prospective students by adding: “You may have found none of the questions on this paper to your liking. If that is the case, set yourself a question and answer it.”
In 1952, Alexander moved to Nigeria where he was the professor of physics at University College, Ibadan.
According to the same site, he was said have dedicated himself to creating more opportunities for education as he helped with the founding of other universities across commonwealth region. He was has been an academic administrator in other schools.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that Professor Iya Abubakar, a mathematical genius, the third vice chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University was also many times a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He was also a former senator of Adamawa North between May 1999 and May 2007. He had a first class degree in mathematics at University College Ibadan and a doctorate degree at Cambridge University, England.
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