The University of Ghana has honoured three of its former Vice Chancellors by naming some facilities after them.
Professors Akilagpa Sawyerr, George Benneh and Ivan Addae-Mensah were honoured for the immense contribution to the development of the nation’s premier university.
Prof. Sawyerr who served as VC from 1985-1992 has the road from Yiri Lodge to the Triangular Intersection behind Mensah Sarbah Hall Annex B named after him. According to the citation read during a short ceremony to honour the trio, he “devoted time and energy to the preservation of academic freedom at communications between him and government in various official speeches.
“After leaving office, he continued with service through the Association of African Universities where the campaign to preserve academic freedom in African universities was given greater voice. This has ensured that many African universities, to a large extent, are able to operate without much political interference.”
Prof Benneh who also served as VC from 1992-1996 had the Circle at the end of the road from Okponglo named after him. Prof Benneh’s citation also read: “…initiated the effort at University of Ghana to add to the stock of student housing with private support. His strong interest in providing additional housing at the university led him to mobilize alumni for the first time to support the construction of a new residential facility, namely Jubilee Hall. His pioneering role in showing that private capital could be mobilized for physical development in a public university paved the way for introducing private hostels at the university, later.”
Professor Addae-Mensah who served from 1996-2002 has his name placed on the triangular intersection behind Mensah Sarbah Hall Annex B. According to a citation read by Vice Chancellor for the University of Ghana Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, Prof Addae-Mensah during his tenure initiated discussions on students contributing to the University finances by paying Academic Facility User Fees (AFUF).
At the time, politically difficult to handle, UG was able to get government to accept the idea of AFUF and RFUF (Residential Facility User Fees). Today, about 40 percent of University revenues come from AFUF and other student charges. “If the University is enjoying the benefits of IGF, it is largely because of the innovativeness he showed.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Prof Aryeetey charged staff of the institution to give off their best so they can also be honored in future.
“…Today it happens that we are naming these things after vice chancellors largely because their roles were quite unique and those roles have not been adequately mentioned for students of this University and for the public to know. Those roles that they played many years ago, have had lasting influences on how we govern this university today.
“So it doesn’t mean that in future only past vice chancellors will be honoured in this manner. I see opportunities for several deans, registrars, deputy registrars, etc to be honoured in similar manner. It also puts pressure on future vice chancellors to develop more facilities so that things can be named after them after they’ve left.”