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Honorary degrees awarded at the University of Bristol – Tuesday 23 July 2019

Sam Smith 

Dr C Cindy Fan

Dame Clare Marx

Press release issued: 22 July 2019

The University of Bristol is awarding honorary degrees to Sam Smith, Dr C Cindy Fan and Dame Clare Marx DBE, DL, FRCS, at degree ceremonies taking place today [23 July] in the Wills Memorial Building.

Sam Smith is the first female chief executive of a city broking firm, finnCap, which she established in 2007.  She graduated from the University of Bristol in 1995, where she studied Economics and Accounting before going on to qualify as a chartered accountant with KPMG. Outside her duties as CEO, Sam is involved in various mentoring projects and organisations including Pinky Lilani’s Women of the Future awards, and the Modern Muse project, which aims to encourage the entrepreneurial ambitions of girls throughout the UK. Sam also helps support the Stepping into Business programme, which teaches primary school children to cultivate their skills in everything from pitching to business planning. Today she will return to her former institution to receive an honorary Doctor of Laws .  

Dr C Cindy Fan is internationally known for her research on migration, regional development and gender in China. She is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was also the first woman and Asian to be appointed Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement.  Born and raised in Hong Kong, she studied for her PhD at the Ohio State University. Her book ‘China on the Move’ is a pioneering study on rural-urban migration in China. Dr Fan frequently contributes to media discussions, has given keynotes in five continents, and has received numerous rewards, including the American Council on Education Fellowship and UCLA’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Today her achievements will be celebrated with an honorary Doctor of Laws .

Dame Clare Marx became the first woman to be appointed President of the Royal College of Surgeons in 2014 and, earlier this year, became the first woman chair of the General Medical Council. Clare trained at UCL London and over the course of a 40-year career, has worked as a doctor, surgeon and consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon. Her managerial and professional roles include chairing the Trauma and Orthopaedic Specialist Advisory Committee for the Royal College of Surgeons. In 2007, Clare received a CBE for services to medicine and was later elected President of the British Orthopaedic Association, and to the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.  She was made Dame Clare in the 2018 New Year’s Honours. Today the University recognises her success with an honorary Doctor of Science. 

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