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UFS bids Dr Franklin Sonn farewell
2010-06-01

Attending the Chancellor's Dinner were, from the left: Judge Ian van der Merwe, Chairperson of the UFS Council; Dr Franklin Sonn, former Chancellor of the UFS; and Judge Faan Hancke, former Chairperson of the UFS Council.
Photo: Stephen Collett


The University of the Free State (UFS) bade its former Chancellor, Dr Franklin Sonn farewell during the Chancellor’s Dinner that was hosted on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein recently.

Dr Sonn held this office from 2002 and retired as Chancellor of the UFS on 31 December
2009.

“Dr Sonn lent dignity and stature to the position of Chancellor and to the UFS. Although this position is mainly ceremonial, he made deciding contributions to important decisions by the UFS and the strategic direction of the institution. We thank him for this,” Judge Ian van der Merwe, Chairperson of the UFS Council said.

In a tribute to Dr Sonn, Judge Faan Hancke, former Chairperson of the UFS Council said that he was a remarkable person. “His versatility is clear from the fact that he is currently the chairperson of seven listed companies. He is, amongst others, the patron of the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, trustee of the Desmond Tutu Freedom Trust and former South African Ambassador to the USA.”

Dr Sonn holds 12 honorary doctorates; has been nominated by the Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut (AHI) as community leader of the year for 1999; received the national award from President Thabo Mbeki known as the “National Order Counsellor of the Baobab Silver” in 2008, as well as the award “International Salute Award in Honour of Dr Martin Luther King Jnr” – “For working to Keep the Dream Alive” – in January 1996. He was the Rector of the Peninsula Technikon and is also a former President of the AHI, Chairperson of the “United States – South African Leadership Exchange” and former member of the SABC Board.

Judge Hancke said that Dr Soon lent new prestige and status to the office of Chancellor and as such showed unbelievable loyalty towards the UFS. “He was a role model for all. Our best wishes accompany him and his wife, Joan,” he said.

The UFS Council will appoint a new Chancellor on Friday, 4 June 2010.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication (acting)
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za  
1 June 2010
 

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