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  December 10, 2003

Neurosurgeon Honors Father
through Gift To Health Center

The much-used faculty/staff dining room > at the Health Center will be named the Chief Gabriel Chike Michael Onyiuke Room, in recognition of a gift by neurosurgeon Dr. Hilary Onyiuke.

Image: Dr. Hilary Onyiuke

Neurosurgeon Dr. Hilary Onyiuke speaks at the November 20 dedication ceremony.

Photo by Peter Morenus

The gift honors Onyiuke's late father, Chief Onyiuke, a Nigerian who studied law at Cambridge University, rose to Queen's Counsel in Great Britain - an honorary title recognizing exceptional merit and contributions to the legal profession - and became Attorney General of Nigeria. A portrait of Chief Onyiuke, unveiled during a dedication ceremony November 20, will hang in the room, along with a commemorative plaque.

Onyiuke said his father "was a legal luminary who strived for equality and justice. His title meant 'great warrior.' He was not fierce but he was firm."

Dr. Onyiuke, an associate professor of surgery, joined the Health Center in 1994.

His gift consists of a one-time donation of $50,000 that will be supplemented annually by him and his wife, Dr. Ifeyinwa Onyiuke, who is an assistant professor of diagnostic imaging at the Health Center. Seventy-five percent of the gift will go to the UConn Medical Group, and 25 percent will go to the School of Medicine's Student Academic Enhancement Fund.

"Hilary and his family have decided to commemorate the memory of his father by making a very generous contribution to the Health Center," said Dr. Peter Deckers, executive vice president for health affairs. "It is a gift that will help us continue to create medical professionals who are interested in biomedical research, the discovery of new knowledge, and its transmission to students and, ultimately, to patients."