Swimmer Ross Davenport to receive honorary degree from University of Derby
DOUBLE Commonwealth Games Gold medal swimmer Ross Davenport is among the people who will receive honorary degrees from the University of Derby.
The 28-year-old from Belper, who swam against US swimming legend Michael Phelps at the London 2012 Olympic Games, will be handed his award at a ceremony in January.
Ross, who won gold in Melbourne in 2006 for the 200m freestyle and the 4×200m freestyle relay, will be joined by Derby historian Maxwell Craven.
Also among those receiving honorary degrees will be Valerie Todd, a director at Crossrail; war veteran and former principal of Derby College of Technology Roy Wooldridge; and Colin Walton, former chairman of Bombardier.
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Ross sent a text message to the Derby Telegraph over the weekend saying he was unable to comment as he was away on his stag weekend.
But Mr Craven, who has written a number of books on the history of Derby, said he was delighted.
He said: "When I got the letter through a couple of months ago, I was absolutely flabbergasted.
"The university gave me an honorary degree before in 1996. I have written back, thanking them and telling them I'm not quite sure what I've done to deserve a second degree but that I feel very, very honoured.
"I look forward to donning the robe again in Derby in January and picking it up."
Every year, individuals at the top of their field, and with a close connection to Derbyshire or the university, are chosen to receive honorary degrees at its annual awards ceremonies.
The ceremonies will be held on January 17 and 18 at the Assembly Rooms.
Also receiving honorary degrees are Sheila Taylor, who was born and lives in Derbyshire and who has worked extensively in the fight to prevent the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children and adults.
Professor John Coyne, vice-chancellor of the university, said: "I am delighted with the high standard of honorary award recipients that Derby has attracted this year.
"They are people not only pre-eminent in their chosen field but who have gone beyond that, through their influence or outside community interests to make a positive impact on the wider world. It will be a pleasure to see them graduate alongside our hard-working students."