Nigerian to lead 164-year-old liberal arts college

Nigeria educationNigeria’s Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande of St. Louis, Missouri, has been named the 21st president of the 164-year-old Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.

He will assume July 1, succeeding Dr. George B. Forsythe, president since 2008, who is retiring after 10 years at Westminster.

“We’re proud to introduce Dr. Akande as president of Westminster College,” said Wallace L. Head, chairman of the Westminster Board of Trustees. “We’ve achieved our year-long goal of finding the most qualified person to lead Westminster and to continue executing our strategic plan.

“It includes developing leaders for a global community by establishing one of the country’s most internationally diverse colleges, and maintaining a graduate placement rate that exceeds 95 percent,” he added.

Dr. Akande, a Nigerian-born American citizen, was introduced Friday, May 8, to a large audience of about 200 faculty, staff and students.

He serves as a professor of economics and Dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology at Webster University in St. Louis. He also leads Webster’s global Office of Corporate Partnerships.

Raised in Nigeria, Dr. Akande came to the U.S. to attend Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, TX, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. He earned his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Oklahoma, and completed his post-doctoral studies at Harvard and Oxford.

A statement explained that Akande was selected for his academic and administrative qualifications and because “he’s a results-oriented leader with strategic vision and proven experience in the areas of global strategy, marketing, and leadership.”

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