Benga Adeeko

Olugbenga “Benga” Adeeko began working at The University of Texas at San Antonio in 1991, staying throughout his career until his retirement in 2021. For decades, he brought a bright, positive energy to the office, leaving a profound impact on those around him. Beloved by his colleagues, they surprised him at his retirement celebration by establishing an endowment in memory of his parents, the Peter and Comfort Adeeko Memorial International Students Support Endowed Fund. Having spent 26 of his over 30 years of service at UTSA working in endowment and gift related positions, this gift was especially meaningful to him. Soon after, Gbenga and his wife, Mojisola (Moji) established another endowment to support international students named in honor of his parent in-laws, the Adio and Grace Apatira Memorial International Student Support Endowed Fund.

 “When they presented me with the endowment, I was shocked, moved, and very gratified,” shared Gbenga. “They knew my passion for endowment and my strong belief in its lasting impact in assisting the University in achieving its educational mission  and the high esteem and love I had and still have for  my mother who had passed away. To borrow the words of Bette Midler, she was ‘the wind beneath my wings that made me fly high that I can almost touch the sky’. She was everything to me.”

Growing up in Nigeria, Benga did not think he would ever have the opportunity to attend college. To help support his widowed mother, he began working at a state-owned water utility company after high school where he met his future wife, Moji. A few years later, he was given an opportunity to further his education through a scholarship program to attend a two-year college in the U.S. Gbenga and Moji went on to attain graduate degrees in business and education respectively, were married and had three children, and made San Antonio their home.

Before joining UTSA’s department of endowment services, Gbenga was a coordinator for UTSA’s federal student loan program and helped students gain financial assistance to complete their degrees. When he witnessed students receiving endowed scholarships they did not have to pay back, he was inspired to establish his own. Once an international student scholarship recipient himself, Gbenga wanted to support other students who come to the US in pursuit of higher education.

“I saw many students I helped with loans struggle to pay them back. Anyone who has the ambition to study and better his or her life deserves to be encouraged and supported in their quest to achieve the American Dream, ” Gbenga said. “Endowments are what I call gifts that keep on giving because they give in perpetuity.”

Through his endowments, Gbenga intends to continue helping current and future students for many years to come, ultimately elevating his endowments to scholarship level.