Benjamin Ola Akande is a Nigerian born and breed.
At the completion of his secondary education, Akande came to the United State of America at age 17 to proceed for his college degree. This was a result of the deep respect and belief his parents had for American higher education system which they didn’t fail to instil in their children.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Wayland Baptist University. He proceeded to the University of Oklahoma where he completed master’s degrees in Economics and Public Administration and a PhD in Economics. He also completed post-doctoral courses at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Saïd School of Business at Oxford University. He became famous and known to be an agent of change, a locally made visionary leader with a global perspective.
As an accomplished Economist and Scholar, he has served as a Professor of Economics and Dean of the Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology at Webster University in St. Louis, he was very much instrumental to the growth of the institution in securing a 10million dollar naming gift, the largest in the institution’s history amongst others.
In the same vein, he has equally served as the President of Westminister College in Fulton, Missouri in 2015 – 2017. It was recorded that he strengthened the college’s infrastructure and financial sustainability, transformed academic offerings and reimagined marketing and communication strategies to build the college’s brand identity.
Dr Ola Akande currently serves as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for International Affairs Africa and the Associate Director of the Global Health Centre at Washington University in St. Louis. According to the St. Louis Business Journal, he is named one of the city’s Most Influential Leader.
All of these records, achievements and more constituted the process of Dr Ola Akande’s qualification for the presidential appointment of the great citadel of learning.
The Board of Trustees on the conferment of the appointment said, “The selection of Dr Akande was the result of an extensive national search conducted by a broadly representative search committee comprised of students, faculty, staff, Trustees, and a local community member. The committee was supported by Koya Leadership Partners, an executive search firm specializing in mission-driven organizations. Neale Lunderville, Trustee and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, shared, “I want to offer my sincere gratitude and heartfelt appreciation to each of our committee members. Their extraordinary efforts over the past many months produced a strong result: Dr Akande will be an exceptional President for our exceptional College.”
The Board of Trustees and Champlain community during the occasion expressed their sincere gratitude to Dr Laurie Quinn for her service as Interim President. Laurie Quinn, Champlain’s Provost and Senior Vice President for Academics, has been serving as Interim President since July 1, 2019.
Dr Quinn in his remark shared, “It is my honour to congratulate and warmly welcome Dr Akande to lead the Champlain community as our next President. Complex times test great leaders, and we are fortunate to be a strong community with a great new leader transitioning in at this time. I’ll be proud to serve on Dr Akande’s team and to chart Champlain’s future together.”
Dr Quinn will return to her role as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academics at the conclusion of her term on June 30, 2020.
Dr. Ola Akande in his speech said, “I am humbled and honoured by the opportunity to lead Champlain College during this period of great transformation and even greater opportunity. While the challenges we currently face as global citizens are daunting, they also sharpen our focus and urge us both individually and as a community, to lead from wherever we are,” said Dr Akande. “The commitment to educating adaptable thinkers, daring change-makers and inclusive innovators who shape professions and inspire communities is what sets Champlain College apart. I look forward to taking this journey with you and thank you for the trust you have placed in me to further Champlain College’s mission together.”
This feather is a reward and motivation for Akande who has deployed professional expertise which has amounted to huge success driven by a singular power of education to change lives. Dr Ola Akande will assume the role as the 9th President of the institution effective July 1, 2020.
Dr Akande is married to Bola Taiwo-Akande, a pharmacist and entrepreneur. They have three adult daughters together.
Today, we identify and rejoice with Dr Ola Akande who increased the list of Nigerians making us proud abroad.