Have a look at our Founding Mothers (in chronological order of participation)
Virginia (Jill) Dike
Virginia (Jill) Dike – Initiator of the Library Committee that planned the Children’s Centre; chair of the Library Committee from 1978-2002; secretary of the Children’s Centre Committee, 1985-1992, chair from 2002 to date; financial secretary of UWA 1976-1979 and treasurer 1993-1997; coordinator of the library throughout its history, initiator of prison library and schools outreach programs. Played active role in organizing vacation programs in the 1980s and in supervising those of more recent years. Initiated and coordinated linkage with the Department of Library and Information Science.
Wilhelmina (Willi) Kalu
Wilhelmina (Willi) Kalu – Initiator of the Children’s Centre project as secretary of UWA from 1977-1979; chair of the Children’s Centre Committee from its inception in 1980 to 1996, and from 1999 to 2001 and president of UWA 2001-2002; chair of the original playground committee (1978-1980); initiator of the children’s festival of 1979, youth forum of 1985, and Children’s Centre theater of 1986; initiator of the Motherless Babies Project; founder of the Psycho-Educational Testing Services (PETS) in 2000
Ogo Amucheazi -Foundation member of the Library Committee; active in library story hour, teacher training workshops, and excursions; active in outreach developing information skills of primary school children and recording oral literature.
Gloria Ofo (deceased) – Third foundation member (on the left in picture) of the Library Committee that began planning the library in 1977; provided the original library furniture, two picture book shelves and a display shelf still used in the library today; retired from Enugu Campus Library
Maria Chukwumah (1931-2007)
Maria Chukwumah (1931-2007) – President of UWA 1977 to 1987, during the crucial formative years of the Children’s Centre. It was she who suggested the name “Children’s Centre” as an expression of what we were trying to accomplish. She participated actively in the preparations leading up to the opening of the library, as a leader of the delegation to alumni donors, as chairman of the Implementation Committee constituted to oversee expenditure of development funds, and as a participant in the hand-over of the Madam Hulder Iwuanyanwu Building to the University in 1986.
Terri Emezi – Foundation committee member; former vice-president of UWA; former vice-chair of the Children’s Centre Committee. One of the earliest and most active members of the Library and Playground Committees, she remained active in these areas, as well as in story hour, junior activities, and youth forum programs, until moving to the U.S. in 2016.
Mary Ellen Chijioke
Mary Ellen Chijioke – early and very active member of the Library Committee who pioneered cataloguing of the collection and organization of student practicals, volunteering her boys’ quarters for this activity; organizer of many long vacation activities such as cookery and baking, junior day camp, youth forum, learning skills, art, continued to contribute throughout her stay in U.S. 1988-2008.
Edith Ihekweazu (deceased) – Active member of the Library and Playground Committees and Treasurer of UWA during the early years. Her family has established an alcove housing the African Children’s Literature Research Collection in her honour and donates N20,000 a year for collection development, opened by son Chikwe in 2005.
Maria Nwaegbe – Long-time member of the Children’s Centre Committee and Financial Secretary of UWA in the early years; organizer of long vacation cookery and sewing classes and excursions; helped organize the Silver Jubilee celebration before retiring to her hometown in 2004.
Joann Ezeilo – Early and active member of the Playground (to right in picture) and Library Committees; has continued to contribute to Children’s Centre programs from her retirement in England and visited the Children’s Centre to mount activities during visits to Nigeria.
Ann Osuji – Active early member of the Library Committee; used her position in the university library to donate disused furniture still being used today; introduced book repair activities. shown here (center right rear) on excursion to zoo.
Ebele Maduewesi (deceased) – One of the earliest and most active committee members and library volunteers; a very supportive president of the University Women’s Association (1987-90); Children’s Centre Committee chair from 1997-99. As president of UWA she initiated the linkage between the Children’s Centre Library and Department of Library and Information Science; served as chair for 25th anniversary celebrations (in blue dress) and resumed a key leadership role in UWA and the Committee after her retirement to Nsukka.
Judy Osuala (deceased) – Active member, organizer of activities and chair of sub-committees from her arrival on campus in 1980 until her death in December 2006; early member of the Library Committee; leading participant in long vacation activities such as sewing, art, caring for others, and learning skills, as well as a coordinator for the annual Christmas caroling and chair of the equipment sub-committee (2004-2006). A professor of adult education, Judy offered to donate her materials on women’s studies, a collection that has now been developed in her memory.
Peris Maduka – Active member in the 1980s and early 1990s who made special contributions to the Motherless Babies Project through her position as coordinator of Social Work practicals. She also taught Kenyan dishes in cookery class, led excursions, and helped organize the Ecumenical Religious Activities Program (ERAP) from 1983-85.
Philippa Chineme (deceased) – Active member from the mid-1980s to the 1990s; active and supportive Vice-President of UWA 1987-90; coordinator of 1987 long vacation program; shared her talents in sewing and cookery activities and participated as a leader in excursions and junior activities; active library volunteer.
Julie Okpala – Active member who also served as UWA President from 1993-1995; made special contributions to environmental programs, initiating a conservation club and waste recycling program in 1993, and as a donor to prison libraries; retired to England.
Kodili Ezeike – Strong member of the Children’s Centre Committee in the late 1980s; active library volunteer and excursions organizer, very supportive secretary of UWA from 1987-90; caroling coordinator (shown here, 2nd from right); currently living in the United States.
Nancy Achebe, nee Okafor
Nancy Achebe, nee Okafor – Active member who made special contributions to the library as a library educator during her years of residence in Nsukka in the late 1980s and early 1990s. She has rejoined the Committee and played a key supportive role since returning to the Nsukka campus as Head, Department of Library and Information Science.
Grace Anyanwu – Active member since the 1980s; served as committee secretary and former vice-president of UWA. As a lecturer in home science, she has led in creative arts, puppetry, cookery, junior activities and youth forum; also in playground development. She is shown right as coordinator of 1987 vacation program and left giving the keynote address at the 2009 Children’s Day.
Chiazo Igboeli – Active and committed committee member since the 1980s; university lecturer in health education; active in the motherless babies project, vacation activities, and youth forum; convener of the women’s book club. Shown 2nd to left Christmas caroling in 1986.
Elisabeth Odenigbo – Active member in the 1980s who developed the Motherless Babies Project and made significant contributions to long vacation programs, serving as coordinator, conducting junior baking classes (as shown in photo to right), leading caring for others and teaching about health issues; moved with her family to Germany, from where she and her daughter Ngozi have contributed to the Children’s Centre.
Sylvia Uhiara – Active member, best known for her faithful service keeping the library on Friday evenings for years; organizer of long vacation sewing classes; treasurer of UWA; coordinator of SAP thrift shop; retired to her home town in 2004. Shown to right (in center) at Educate Women for Development, & left (far right) at Founders’ Day awards dinner.
Bibiana Ukaegbu – Active library volunteer in the late 1980s; organizer of children’s activities; moved to the United States, from where she continued to make book donations to the library.
Jo Alumanah – Active member and Vice-Chair; active in vacation programs, youth forum, and the motherless babies project; caroling coordinator.
Jo Okereke (deceased) – Active committee member and library volunteer in the 1990s; president of UWA 1995-1997; active participant in the motherless babies project and caroling. A nurse by profession, she introduced programs on alternative medicine and organized family planning workshops for the wider community, before leaving to work in Saudi Arabia in 2001.
Lesley Onuora – Active committee member and treasurer of the Children’s Centre Committee. A physicist, she organized science activities during vacation programs; she and her family moved to England in the early 1990s, from where she has continued to contribute to the Children’s Centre.
Janet Ndukwe – Active as committee member and organizer of art and science activities during long vacation programs; coordinator of the library during vacation periods; now living in England. To left is the junior art exhibit Janet organized during the 1987 vacation program, the first in our new building.
Ada Udechukwu – Secretary of the Children’s Centre Library Committee in the 1990s; active in school outreach program, reading club, and art activities; contributed her tapestry artwork to the library; has continued to contribute extensively to library and prison outreach programs since her family’s move to the United States. Shown center at 1995 drama “The Unbelieving Christian”
Nkadi Onyegegbu – Committee member since the 1980s; long-time reliable treasurer of the Children’s Centre Committee, serving until 2015; active in motherless babies project and youth forum; caroling coordinator; generous sponsor of Children’s Centre programs. Shown center holding trophy at football match.
Edem Ikoku (deceased) – Patron of UWA and member of the committee in the late 1980s; strong supporter, along with her husband Vice-Chancellor Chimere Ikoku, of Children’s Centre programs; library volunteer; teacher of cooking and sewing classes.