19 July 2012
We would like to offer a special congratulation to our alumni who have been awarded honorary degrees by the University. An honorary degree is a major accolade, awarded in recognition of outstanding achievement and distinction in a field or activity consonant with the University’s mission.
Professor Graham Fleming (BSc 1971), received a Doctor of Science degree for his extensive body of work and being a tireless ambassador for science. He is the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Melvin Calvin Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley.
Dame Denise Holt (BA 1970), former British diplomat and promoter of relations with Spain and Latin America, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree in recognition of her distinguished career. In 2007, she was appointed British Ambassador to Spain - the first woman to hold this office between the UK and Spain since Catherine of Aragon, and the first female British Ambassador in 500 years of resident diplomatic relations.
Sir Stephen Laws (LLB 1972) received a Doctor of Laws degree in recognition of his outstanding career as a lawyer in the Civil Service. In 2006, he became First Parliamentary Counsel and is one of the three most senior lawyers in the Civil Service. As the first member of his family to go to University, Sir Stephen is a supporter of our Access to Bristol project, which encourages students, who might otherwise not have done so, to pursue higher education.
Michelle McDowell MBE (BSc 1984) was honoured with a Doctor of Engineering in recognition of a career which has seen her become one of the country’s most admired civil engineers. She was awarded an MBE for services to the construction industry in 2010 and last year was named the Veuve Cliquot Business Woman of the Year – a prestigious award which celebrates entrepreneurs and business women from a wide range of industries.
Professor Sidney Ricketts (BSc 1968, BVSc 1971), one of the country's leading veterinary practitioner scientists, was honoured with a Doctor of Science degree. His distinguished career saw him become a partner at Rossdale and Partners, one of the best equipped equine veterinary practices in the world. As a pioneer in the field of equine stud medicine, he has established an equine pathology laboratory which has referrals from 500 other veterinary practices from all over the UK and Europe. Throughout his career, he’s continued to support the University and the new Alborada Building at Langford, opened earlier this year, was based upon Sidney’s design.
Maxine Room CBE (Bed 1979, Med 1993), current principal of Lewisham College, received a Doctor of Laws as a mark of her success in the field of education. After studying education at the University, she was appointed principal of Swansea College. In doing so she became the first black female principal in Wales and second black female principal in the UK. To find out more about Maxine you can read an interview with her in our Nonesuch Winter issue 2012.