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The Whittaker Foundation

Thu 25 Nov 2021
Mrs Rose Whittaker i

In April of 1998, the Department of Physics received a very important letter. This letter was to change the fortunes of many students over the next two decades. The letter described the wishes of a certain Rose A. Whittaker as set forth in her will. In this letter, the trustee of the will of Rose A. Whittaker stated that, “The will and testament of Mrs Rose Adwoa Whittaker who died in 1995 stipulated the creation of a Trust known as Dr. K. C. Whittaker Endowment Fund to institute a scholarship scheme to be known as K. C. Whittaker Award Scheme for the purpose of awarding scholarships to female students of the Department. Mrs Whittaker was the wife of Prof. K. C. Whittaker, a former Head of Department of the Department of Physics who died in 1970.

Imagine the joy of the Head and staff of the Department. This was an opportunity to attract smart female students into the Physics programme. Hitherto, Physics had a low enrollment rate for female students with many of them finding it unattractive and difficult. Accordingly, a committee comprising of Dr C. P. Ntiforo, Prof. F. Boakye, Dr. A. K. Agyei and Prof. Aboagye Menyeh was formed to make proposals for a memorandum on the establishment and operation of the K. C. Whitaker Endowment Fund.

After consultation and deliberation, a format was agreed upon to initially fund two female students (one continuing student and one first year student). The Endowment fund was launched in 1998 with the sum of a 100 million cedis (old cedis).

Miss Naana Armooh and Miss Savior Alomatu were the first awardees and were presented with their awards in June 1999. Since the inception of the Scholarship Scheme, awards have been given 190 times to female students of the Department of Physics. Most of awardees have gone on to achieve incredible things.

Profile of Prof. K. C. Whittaker

Prof. Whittaker was a British Officer in the Gold Coast Army and simultaneously a part-time teacher at Achimota College. He taught Physics and Maths in 1946. After his retirement from the Army, he took up a full-time teaching appointment at Achimota College. He married Mrs Whittaker in 1946. Due to his great interest in the Ghanaian Languages, he went to work with the Bureau of Ghana Languages in Accra and later headed the Bureau. He learned Fanti and was so good that he was able to translate the “Arabian Nights” into the Fanti Language. He moved to the University College of Technology (now KNUST) to lecture in Physics where he rose through the ranks to head the Department of Physics. He was the first Dean of the then Faculty of Science. Prof. Whittaker died in 1970 after a short illness.

Profile of Mrs Whittaker:

Mrs Rose A. Whittaker was a Ghanaian from Abereshyia in Edina Eguafo Area in the Central Region. She attended the Tamale Government School and Tamale Secondary School. After her Secondary Education, she trained as a Midwife at the Korle Bu Nurses and Midwifery Training School in Accra. She then worked at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital where she met Dr. K. C. Whittaker. They got married in 1946 at the Achimota Anglican Church. Auntie Rose as she was popularly called joined her husband in the U.S.T. She then changed her profession and set up a restaurant called “The Cabin” on the Kumasi-KNUST road. She also established a guest house called Roses Guest House at Danyanme in Kumasi. Auntie Rose died in 1995 after a short illness.