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John & Ann Sanders (left) pictured with Jim Peacock, Sam Magill, Bo Howes, and Mary Howes

The UNC Retired Faculty Association presented the second Jonathan B. Howes Lifetime Achievement Award to John L. Sanders, at the membership meeting on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. RFA member Sam Magill introduced his friend and classmate, best known for his leadership of the Institute of Government (now the School of Government) over a period of thirty years.

Sanders was instrumental in building a strong, supportive relationship to the State legislature and other offices of State government. In between stints as Institute director, he served as Vice President for Planning of the University System Office between 1973 and 1978, during which he played a central role in the development of the University’s first long range plan In 1961 he was instrumental in designing the State’s community college system as a part of the Governor’s Commission on Education Beyond the High School. From 1968 to 1969 he worked with the North Carolina Constitutional Commission. His contributions to other institutions and processes include significant involvement with the planning of physical facilities and grounds at UNC-Chapel Hill and historic structures in Raleigh and elsewhere in the state.

William Friday once said of Sanders, “When you speak about John Sanders, you speak about the most sterling example of public service of anyone I know.” In addition to his service to the University and the State of North Carolina, he has also served as mentor to hundreds of student leaders, helping shape their successful careers.

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