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Honorary degrees awarded at the University of Bristol – Thursday, 18 July

Press release issued: 18 July 2013

Bristol University is awarding honorary degrees to Laura Tomlinson and Professor David Feldman at today’s degree ceremonies in the Wills Memorial Building.

Olympic gold medallist Laura Tomlinson will receive a Doctor of Laws degree six years after she first graduated with a BSc in Philosophy and Politics from Bristol.

The equestrian star, who was triumphant in the team dressage competition at London 2012, was also awarded an MBE for services to equestrianism in the New Year Honours.

Laura, whose surname was Bechtolsheimer before she married polo player Mark Tomlinson in March, captured the nation’s heart when she rode her trusted horse Mistral Hojris – known as Alf – and scored 77.873 per cent to keep the Brits ahead of their nearest rivals Germany, who have been reigning Olympic dressage champions since 1976.

She also scored 84.339 to take bronze in the individual event, playing an integral part in helping GB's equestrian team end with three Olympic titles - two in dressage and a showjumping team gold.

During her time at University she was a member of the High Performance Squad of athletes – a group of talented student athletes who receive support to continue with their sporting careers without compromising their academic progress.

Professor David Feldman, the Rouse Ball Professor of English Law at the University of Cambridge, will also receive a Doctor of Laws.

He worked at the University of Bristol for 16 years before working at the University of Birmingham and then being appointed as the Legal Advisor to the Joint Select Committee on Human Rights in the Houses of Parliament.

In 2002, he was appointed as one of the three international judges of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia under the Dayton Agreement.

Over 80 scholarly publications have been published since 2000, many of which have helped to shape the development of civil liberties and human rights law.

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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