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Honorary degrees awarded at the University of Bristol – Friday, 12 July

Tony Juniper and orator Robert Dufton

Tony Juniper and orator Robert Dufton Ede and Ravenscroft

Roger Holmes and orator Tania Rawlinson

Roger Holmes and orator Tania Rawlinson Ede and Ravenscroft

Professor David Townsend with orator Professor Nick Brook

Professor David Townsend with orator Professor Nick Brook Ede and Ravenscroft

Press release issued: 12 July 2013

Bristol University is awarding honorary degrees to Tony Juniper, Roger Holmes and Professor David Townsend at today’s degree ceremonies in the Wills Memorial Building.

Well-known environmentalist, writer and campaigner Tony Juniper is to receive a Doctor of Science, 30 years after he graduated from the University with a BSc in Psychology and Zoology. 

For more than 20 of those 30 years he worked for Friends of the Earth and has been described by the Environment Agency as one of the top 10 environmental figures in recent years and one of the ‘all time eco-heroes’.

Tony joined Friends of the Earth in 1990 and has contributed to many of the organisation’s achievements, including legislation to protect the UK's finest wildlife habitats, climate change legislation and new laws to require more recycling.

He has continued to campaign since leaving Friends of the Earth, combining this with teaching and advisory roles, while his books are shaping the way people think about nature and the economy. He’s also stood as a candidate for the Green Party.

Roger Holmes, the former Chief Executive of Woolworths and Marks and Spencer, is being awarded with a Doctor of Laws degree in recognition of his achievements and role as Chairman of the University’s Centenary Campaign, which has so far raised £93million.

He graduated from the University of Bristol in 1981 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering before working for Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) and training as a chartered accountant, subsequently  leading several high-profile companies.

As Chief Executive of Marks and Spencer from 2001 to 2004, he was in charge of a global business with a £8.3billion turnover, 70,000 employees and 70 million customers. Roger is now the Managing Director of Change Capital Partners.

Roger has chaired the Centenary Campaign since 2008, aiming to raise £100million before it ends in 18 months. It has funded a number of people, schemes and research projects – from research into Alzheimer’s disease to library refurbishments, student societies to studies into climate change.

Professor David Townsend, whose work has radically transformed approaches to medical imaging, is to receive a Doctor of Science.

The former Physics student at the University of Bristol co-developed a hybrid PET/CT scanner which has enabled cancer tumours to be detected faster and more accurately.

Professor Townsend’s success had been recognised around the world and with a number of awards and accolades, with TIME magazine heralding the scanner as Medical Invention of the Year in 2000. His initial paper on the scanner has now been cited nearly 800 times.

He’s currently the Director of the Clinical Imaging Research Centre at the National University of Singapore, having worked at CERN and other leading institutions in Europe and the US.

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.

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.
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