The highly enviable career of Emeritus Professor and toast of Nigerian academia, Ayo Banjo got the icing on the cake early this week, with his induction into the University of Ibadan’s Hall of Fame.
Banjo, the venerable and venerated academia icon is regarded as the Vice-Chancellor of vice-chancellors. He is reputed for being the longest serving Vice-Chancellor ever, the first PhD graduate in English Language of the University of Ibadan and the first Emeritus Professor of English.
Born Ladipo Ayodeji Banjo, in May 2, 1934, Banjo is a Nigerian Emeritus professor of English Language, educational administrator, former vice chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria as well as former pro-chancellor of Ajayi Crowther University.
Banjo was born in Oyo State Nigeria into the family of the late Reverend Ayodeji Banjo. He attended St. Andrews Anglican Primary School and Christ Cathedral Primary School in Lagos state, Nigeria. He attended Igbobi College in Lagos State Nigeria, between 1947 to 1952. In 1966, he won the American State Department scholarship award for a Master of Art (M.A) degree in Linguistics at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA. He later obtained a Doctorate degree (P.hD) in 1969 from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
Banjo began his career as a lecturer at the department of English Language, University of Ibadan in 1966. He was appointed associate professor in 1973 and became a full professor in 1975 at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. In 1981, he became the vice chancellor of the University of Ibadan. Banjo was appointed vice chancellor of the University of Ibadan in 1984, a position he held till 1991. During this period, he was the chairman committee of vice chancellor of Nigerian universities.
Also, Banjo served as visiting professor for one year at the university of west indies at Cave Hill as well as visiting fellow at the University of Cambridge, England between 1993 to 1994. Between 2000-2004, he was appointed as the pro-chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt. After his tenure he was appointed as pro-chancellor of the University of Ilorin for two years (2005-2007). Banjo also served as the incumbent pro-chancellor of Ajayi Crowther University.