Dr Bowe's not just a student of rugby
IRELAND rugby star Tommy Bowe is now a Doctor of Science after being awarded an honorary degree by the University of Ulster.
Dr Bowe - as he can now be called - was among a number of well-known personalities, including Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, recognised by the institution this week.
Bowe (30) received the honorary degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) for his outstanding contribution to sport.
He was presented with the accolade by actor James Nesbitt, the university's chancellor, during yesterday's graduation ceremony at the Belfast Waterfront Hall.
Bowe said it is "certainly very different" to what he is used to, adding that he is "hugely honoured".
It was "a bit of a shock" when he found out about the honour and his Ulster and Ireland teammates "were having a right laugh" about it.
"But I am proud to be here in my gown and to enjoy this great day," he said.
Earlier this week, Rodgers and champion jockey AP McCoy also received doctorates.
"It is unbelievable. To hear those two guys were here and for me to be put alongside them is pretty special," said Bowe, who is a graduate of the University of Ulster's School of the Built Environment.
Rodgers admitted he was overwhelmed with pride after being awarded with his degree on Monday. He was among 13 "inspirational" people to receive an accolade.
During the ceremony, the Northern Irishman addressed young students in attendance.
"It's a little bit surreal because I've always seen myself as a learner and so when I get asked to do such talks, I'm always curious as to what I can pass on that might be of any use to anyone," he said afterwards.