Vice-Chancellor “honoured” to receive knighthood
Press release issued: 4 October 2013
Professor Sir Eric Thomas, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, said he was “honoured” to receive his knighthood from Princess Anne at a service held in Windsor Castle. Sir Eric was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours earlier this year for services to higher education.
His knighthood was conferred at a public investiture yesterday [03 October] to recognise significant contributions to national life.
Speaking afterwards, Sir Eric said: “I feel deeply honoured to have received this recognition for my work and to be part of such a special occasion.
“I’m proud to work in this truly remarkable sector, in which the UK is a world-leader, not only in ground-breaking research but in educating future generations to the highest standards.”
Sir Eric has been Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol since September 2001 and is one of the longest-serving UK Vice-Chancellors. He is also Chair of the Board of CASE Europe and a Member of the Board of CASE and has been appointed to serve as a Commissioner of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission.
His chairing of the government Taskforce into Increasing Voluntary Giving in Higher Education, and subsequent report in 2004, played a major role in shaping voluntary giving across the sector.
In August 2011, Sir Eric became President of Universities UK. He was previously Vice-President of UUK, Chair of its England and Northern Ireland Council and Chair of the Research Policy Committee. He was also Chair of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) from 2003 to 2007.
In July this year, he was appointed as the UK’s Education Champion, a new role which will see him promote Britain’s education sector overseas.
Sir Eric graduated in Medicine from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1976 and obtained his MD by thesis in research into endometriosis in 1987. He trained as an obstetrician and gynaecologist and worked at both the universities of Sheffield and Newcastle.
In 1991 he was appointed Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Southampton and then became Head of the School of Medicine there in 1995 and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Biological Sciences in 1998. He was a Consultant Gynaecologist from 1987 to 2001.
- Jenny Donovan, Professor of Social Medicine in the University’s School of Social and Community Medicine, also received an Order of the British Empire (OBE) yesterday in recognition of her services to social medicine. For more information, please see here.