NOBEL PRIZE WINNER F.W. DE KLERK TO SPEAK AT HAMILTON
De Klerk, South Africa's last president under apartheid, will speak onWednesday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m., in the Margaret Bundy Scott Field House. Thetalk is free and open to the public.
The college also will provide shuttle bus service from parking lots in thevillage of Clinton, and Mr. de Klerk's talk will be interpreted for the deafand hearing impaired. For further information, contact the Hamilton Office ofStudent Activities at (315) 859-4194.
De Klerk, along with Nelson Mandela,played a major role in initiating the reforms that marked the end of apartheid and white minority rule in South Africa. Soon after becoming president in 1989, de Klerk lifted a 30-year ban on the African National Congress (ANC),released ANC leader Nelson Mandela from prison, abolished the principal laws ofapartheid and instituted constitutional reform. De Klerk also began laying thegroundwork for South Africa's first ever multiracial elections which were heldin 1994. In recognition of their roles in the democratization of South Africa,de Klerk and Mandela were co-recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
In 1994, de Klerk was sworn in as a deputy president under Mandela in acoalition government that was created to ensure a smooth transition to democracy. Heresigned from his post as deputy president in 1996 and retired from activepolitics a year later. De Klerk now spends most of his time lecturingthroughout the world and working on his autobiography.
F.W. de Klerk will be the fourth person to appear as part of Hamilton'sGreat Names Series. His talk follows presentations by fellow Nobellaureate Elie Wiesel, political strategists Mary Matalin and James Carville andformer chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell, whodelivered the inaugural address in April 1996. Best-selling author MayaAngelou was scheduled to be last fall's Great Names speaker, however,her speech was canceled due to illness.