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Honorary degrees awarded at the University of Bristol – Tuesday, 29 January

John Rutley with orator Bob Reeves

John Rutley with orator Bob Reeves Ede and Ravenscroft

Professor Jean Golding OBE

Professor Jean Golding OBE Ede and Ravenscroft

Press release issued: 29 January 2013

The University of Bristol is awarding honorary degrees to John Rutley and Professor Jean Golding at today's degree ceremonies in the Wills Memorial Building.

John Rutley is being honoured with a Doctor of Laws degree to mark his success in business and philanthropic work to get children involved in sport locally.

John, who was born and bred in Bristol, established A-Gas International – a company which distributes speciality chemicals for use in a variety of industries around the world – in 1993 and it now has a turnover of more than £150 million.

He has also been a big supporter of local charities and established the John Rutley Sports Fund six years ago to get young people involved in sport and it now benefits 20 schools in the city.

It’s also helped more than 400 Bristol University students to qualify for the Community Sports Leader Award which has entailed contributing over 8,000 hours to community sports projects.

Professor Jean Golding OBE, who founded the world-famous Children of 90s population study in 1991, will receive a Doctor of Laws degree.

She’s being honoured for her extensive epidemiology work through the study, also known as ALSPAC, which has made an enormous contribution to society’s understanding of human health and well-being and has influenced important healthcare debates and policies in the UK and overseas.

It began with 14,000 pregnant women in Bristol and the surrounding area and has become a world-leader in genetic research, analysing the genome (genetic blueprint) of thousands of participants.

Professor Golding has published over 350 peer-reviewed papers and her other honours include Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and Emeritus Professor of Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology at the University of Bristol. She was also runner up in the UK European Woman of the Year competition in 1998 and awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list in 2012.

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.

Live web streaming of the event can be viewed via the University's Public and Ceremonial Events website.

Further information

The official photographs and speeches delivered by the public orators at each ceremony are available to the media on request from the University's Press Office.