New head for Grahamstown Foundation

Professor Geoffrey Antrobus was recently elected as Chairman of the Grahamstown Foundation Council.

Antrobus has been a life member of the Grahamstown Foundation since the year in which the Monument opened its doors in July 1974, and a member of Council since September 2012. 

He has served as a Grahamstown Foundation Council representative on the National Arts Festival Board since February this year. 

He is a Professor Emeritus of Rhodes University and currently a Senior Mellon Scholar, and has served the university in many roles including head of the Department of Economics and Dean of Social Science. He began his academic career at Rhodes in 1972, and was appointed by the University of Fort Hare as Professor and Head of Agricultural Economics in 1983 and Academic Registrar in 1988, before returning to Rhodes in 1991.

His research focuses on environmental issues and economic impact studies and has included, amongst other things, studies on the impact of the National Arts Festival on the Makana local economy.

Commenting on his appointment, Antrobus said it was a privilege to have the Monument and its operating body, the Grahamstown Foundation, in a town the size of Grahamstown.

"The hosting of major events, and particularly the festivals, contribute significantly to our local economy and the Monument serves our local communities for smaller events such as conferences, meetings, weddings, dinners, concerts, exhibitions, graduations and prize givings,” he said.

He said while Monument-related activities generate around R100 million through the local economy annually, the Foundation Council has to address financial challenges with regard to the maintenance and operations of the building.

Antrobus succeeds Professor Laurence Wright, who has served on the Grahamstown Foundation Council since 1998 and as Chairman of the Grahamstown Foundation from September 2010 until September 2013.

Executive Director Louisa Clayton said Wright had been a member of Council, and a wise and considered Chairman who had played key roles as a member of the National Arts Festival Board, and in the Foundation's science and arts education projects, and in the Shakespeare Society of Southern Africa of which he is an Honorary Life President.

“We are extremely grateful to Professor Wright for his dedicated service to the Foundation in various roles over the past 15 years,” she said.

Article Source: Grocotts Mail