The University of Texas at Arlington

Paying Homage

Scholarship Recognizes Matriarch’s Devotion to Education

Clement Osimetha’s journey from humble beginnings in Nigeria to respected corporate attorney represents the textbook American success story. And he owes it all to his mother. “If not for her influence, there would be no career success,” Osimetha says. “That goes for my brothers and sisters as well.”

To honor their mother on her 75th birthday, Osimetha and his six siblings established the Chief Felicia Ajara Atsegbua Dikko Endowed Scholarship in The University of Texas at Arlington College of Business. The scholarship supports students who have received all or part of their pre-college education in Nigeria.

Chief Dikko, or Madam Ajara, as Osimetha’s mother is affectionately known, had no formal schooling. Yet she owned and operated several small businesses as a single mom in Nigeria. “She was quite an enterprising person,” he says of his mother, who now lives in Arlington.  “She was a strong woman, and people looked up to her.”

Osimetha is a graduate of UTA, receiving his degree in finance in 1992. “The combination of very affordable tuition and a world-class education in business made UTA the choice for me,” he says.

After graduating from UTA, he earned a law degree from the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University in 1995. He now serves as vice president and chief compliance officer for Ciber, Inc., a global information technology consulting company with offices in 15 countries on four continents.

He credits his UTA education, both inside and outside the classroom, with advancing his career. As a leader in his fraternity, he attended a White House conference on student life in Washington, D.C., which enhanced his overall college experience.

“Students looking for a college home would be wise to consider UTA because of the quality education you receive, the reasonable cost of getting that quality education, and the college experience, which is very rich,” he says.

Chief Dikko’s passion for education still resonates with her children, all of whom attended college. “To have the foresight that we should all go to school is remarkable,” Osimetha says. "She was very smart and forward thinking to know that education was the best way out of our circumstances at the time.”

Clement Osimetha has had a brilliant career as an attorney and serves on various boards, including that of the African American Repertory Theater. He also served consecutive three-year terms on the State of Texas Board of Disciplinary Appeals, appointed by the Texas Supreme Court.

Osimetha remains true to his business roots, however, and is a frequent guest speaker at  the UTA College of Business where he shares his real-world experience. In addition, he recently followed in his mother’s small-business-management footsteps by becoming a 7-Eleven franchisee.


If you would like more information about how to start an endowment, please contact Mark LaVelle at ♦ 817-272-5235