86-Year-Old Retired Professor Pursues PhD in Anthropology at University of Ibadan

86-Year-Old Retired Professor Pursues PhD in Anthropology at University of Ibadan

…By Enitan Thompson for TDPel Media. Mark Nwagwu, a retired professor of cell and molecular biology, has embarked on a new academic endeavor by enrolling for a PhD in anthropology at the University of Ibadan.


Making the announcement on his 86th birthday through a Facebook post, Nwagwu expressed his joy as the university staff greeted him with songs of celebration.

Nwagwu’s academic journey began with a Bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Ibadan in 1961.

He went on to obtain his PhD from the University of Stockholm in 1965.

Reflecting on his return to academia, Nwagwu mentioned that he had registered for his PhD studies in anthropology at the Institute of African Studies.

On the morning of his 86th birthday, Nwagwu visited the Post-graduate School at the University of Ibadan to complete his registration.

The warm reception from the staff, who greeted him with Happy Birthday songs, left him pleasantly surprised and delighted.


After his tenure at the University of Ibadan, Nwagwu joined Brock University in Canada as an assistant professor of cell and molecular biology in 1969.

He later rose to the position of associate professor in 1973.

Known affectionately as Uncle Mark, he dedicated his life to teaching and research before retiring in 2012.

Beyond his scientific pursuits, Nwagwu is a multi-talented individual.

He is recognized as a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science and has made notable contributions as a published poet and novelist.

Much of his poetry is dedicated to his late wife, Professor Helen Nwagwu, who passed away in 2018.

Nwagwu’s literary accomplishments have garnered attention from prominent figures such as former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Obasanjo attended the launch of Nwagwu’s book titled Dream Dance: My Journey Through Life in Lagos last year.


Furthermore, the former President was also present at the launch of Nwagwu’s Time Came Upon Me at the University of Ibadan in 2019.

Mark Nwagwu’s decision to pursue a PhD at the age of 86 exemplifies his unwavering passion for learning and intellectual growth.

His remarkable journey serves as an inspiration to others, highlighting the importance of lifelong education and the pursuit of one’s passions.


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About the Author:

Eni Thompson is a seasoned and experienced writer with over 18 years of experience in news compilation. With a special interest in transforming any occurrence into newsworthy content, Eni has honed his skills in providing comprehensive accounts of events that he has witnessed or heard. With a passion for journalism and a commitment to excellence, Eni has established himself as a reliable and respected writer in the field of news reporting. He lives in Sydney, Australia.

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