King George V

In 1901, His Royal Highness George Frederick Ernest Albert received an Honorary Doctorate in Law from the University of the Cape of Good Hope (which later became Unisa). He served as Chancellor from 1901 to 1912.

As the second son of the Prince of Wales, there was little chance that George would become king. However, with the deaths of his elder brother in 1892 and his grandmother Queen Victoria in 1901, George stood next in line to the throne after his father. During a world tour of dominions in 1901, the future king became Chancellor of the University of the Cape of Good Hope, an association that brought the University significant financial benefit. Lavish celebrations attended George’s arrival in the Cape, but their underlying jingoism offended Afrikaners, and some English-language press criticised their massive cost in a time of economic hardship during the South African War. George garnered several academic honours during his tour, but biographers would later lament his lack of intellectual engagement with the global issues of his day.