W. A. F. J. Tumbelaka

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W. A. F. J. Tumbelaka
Rector of the University of Indonesia
In office
3 June 1985 – 15 January 1986
Preceded byNugroho Notosusanto
Succeeded bySujudi
Personal details
Born(1920-04-24)24 April 1920
Kotamobagu, Dutch East Indies
Died11 September 2012(2012-09-11) (aged 92)
Jakarta, Indonesia
Alma materUniversity of Amsterdam
University of Indonesia

Willem "Wim" Alexander Frederick Joseph Tumbelaka (24 April 1920 – 11 September 2012) was an Indonesian physician and academician. He worked in the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Indonesia (UI) and became the acting dean of the faculty for several months in 1976. He also became the acting rector of the university from 1985 until 1986.

Early life and education

Tumbelaka was born on 24 April 1920 in Kotamobagu, Sulawesi, as the second child of ten children.[1] His father, Isaac J. Tumbelaka, worked as an attorney, while his mother, Margaretha Siwydan, was an obstetrician.[2] Upon completing his primary studies at the Hollandsch-Inlandsche School in Kotamobagu in 1933, Tumbelaka moved to Tomohon and completed his secondary education at the Meer Uitgebreid Lager Onderwijs in 1936. Tumbelaka was unable to continue his studies for two years due to a lack of funding from his parents. He was able to continue to study after one of his uncles sent him to study in Surabaya. On his final year in Surabaya, the Japanese invaded Surabaya, and the school he was studying on was closed. With the help of politician Sam Ratulangi, Tumbelaka was sent to Japan to study medicine.[1]

Tumbelaka returned to Indonesia after the surrender of Japan in 1945 and initially refused Ratulangi's suggestion to further study medicine in the University of Amsterdam. He relented after being convinced by Ratulangi and graduated from the university in 1955.[1]


After graduating from the University of Amsterdam, Tumbelaka returned to Indonesia and began his career as a physician at the Jebres Public Hospital in Surakarta. Two years later, Tumbelaka moved to Jakarta and became a pediatrician at the Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital.[1] He concurrently continued his medical studies at UI's faculty of medicine. He also studied pediatric gastroenterology at the University of Western Ontario from 1961 until 1962[3] and at the University of Colombo in 1975.[4] As a pediatrician, Tumbelaka held leading positions in pediatric organizations such as the Indonesian Pediatrician Association and the ASEAN Pedriatic Federation. He actively promoted the usage of breast milk for infants and invented honey sugar milk (susu gula madu, SGM), which became a popular variant of milk in Indonesia.[1][2]

In 1970, Tumbelaka was appointed as the third deputy dean of the medicine faculty by Mahar Mardjono, the faculty's dean. Mahar Mardjono became the rector of UI in 1974 and Djamaloedin was appointed in its place. Djamaloedin promoted Tumbelaka from the post of third deputy dean to first deputy dean. Due to his health condition, Djamaloedin resigned as dean on August 1976 and Tumbelaka became the acting dean of the faculty until December that year.[5] He was replaced as first deputy dean in 1977 and became a professor in pediatrics in 1981.[1]

On 15 January 1982, Mahar Mardjono was replaced by historian Nugroho Notosusanto. Nugroho then appointed Tumbelaka as the first deputy rector of the university. A year later, Nugroho was appointed as the Minister of Education and Culture in Suharto's Fourth Development Cabinet. Nugroho was not relieved from the position of rector, but the day-to-day activities of the university were run by Tumbelaka. Nugroho died suddenly on 3 June 1985 and Tumbelaka became acting rector of the university. Tumbelaka handed over his position to Sujudi, the new elected rector, on 15 January 1986.[6] He retired from UI shortly after.[2]

Later life and death

Upon his retirement from UI, Tumbelaka moved to the Tarumanagara University, a private university, and became the dean of university's medicine faculty.[2] He also became the chairman of the Medical Ethics Honorary Council of the Indonesian Medical Association.[1]

Tumbelaka died on 11 September 2012 in Jakarta. His body was laid at the main lobby of UI's faculty of medicine before his interment at the Menteng Pulo Public Cemetery.[7]

Personal life

Tumbelaka was married to Concordia Sophia Lodola Mononutu, the niece of former minister Arnold Mononutu. The couple has three children. On one occasion, Tumbelaka had to expel two of his children, who were studying at UI's medical faculty, for failing to pass an evaluation.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "W.A.F.J. TUMBELAKA". Apa dan Siapa Tempo. Archived from the original on 1 August 2005. Retrieved 16 January 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d "Sekilas Siapa Prof Tumbelaka". Berita Kawanua. 13 September 2012. Archived from the original on 30 April 2021. Retrieved 16 January 2023.
  3. ^ "Goodwill Strengthened". The Windsor Star. 8 December 1961. Retrieved 16 January 2023.
  4. .
  5. ^ Pada perayaan Dies Natalis Universitas Indonesia ke XXVII tahun 1977 ... Rektor Prof. Dr. Mahar Mardjono penyampaikan laporan tahunan... (in Indonesian). Universitas Indonesia. 1977.
  6. ^ "Serba Serbi Pejabat Rektor UI". University of Indonesia. 20 May 2013. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2023.
  7. ^ "Berita Duka" (PDF). Alumni. October 2012. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 June 2022.