Aretha Franklin to get special award

For her work in higher education

Aretha Franklin is set to become the first woman to receive the Award of Excellence from the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) in the US.

The award recognises the soul legend’s work to help students get access to higher education, as well as Franklin’s charity work.

UNCF president Michael Lomax said that her career had “established a standard of excellence that exemplifies the educational distinction to which our member colleges are dedicated and to which they hold their students.”

She will collect the award in September at the UNCF’s An Evening of Stars. The telethon is set to be broadcast on US television in January.

In November 2005, Franklin received the highest civilian honour in the US, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, reports the BBC.