Georgie Twigg paid tribute to the University of Bristol after she became the institution's fourth student, past or present, to win a medal for Britain in London.
Twigg followed double dressage medallist Laura Bechtolsheimer, a 2007 Philosophy and Politics graduate, who took gold and bronze, and sailing silver medallist Hannah Mills, who is currently studying Engineering but deferred her final year.
Iain Percy, who studied Economics at Bristol between 1995 and 1998, missed out on his bid to become a three-times sailing gold medallist when he took silver in the star class, while Lawrence Clarke, who graduated last year in Theology and Religious Studies, was another success story as he finished a surprise fourth in the 110m hurdles final.
Twigg was part of the Great Britain hockey team who took bronze – the country's first Olympic hockey medal since 1992 – with a 3-1 win over New Zealand, having graduated from Bristol with a 2.1 in Law earlier this summer.
And, after a hectic year juggling education and elite sport, she said: "Bristol Uni have been fantastic. They allowed me to split my final year, so I've managed to complete my degree as well as do all the preparation for the Olympics.
"I don't think I'd have been able to have managed everything if they hadn't allowed me to do that, so I'm absolutely grateful to Bristol Uni for allowing me to do that. It has been such a busy year and I'll have a few weeks' break and a bit of a holiday now – I think we deserve some time off."
Team-mate Ashleigh Ball, meanwhile, revealed she took more than a little consolation from the bronze medal.
"This is a million miles away from the disappointment of the semi-finals," said Ball, who hails from Cheltenham .
"But we are a team who knows how to cope with that sort of thing, we had a quick turnaround and every game is important. We all woke up the next day and made sure we were going to move on.
"Gold is what we came here to get, but we have now won bronze which is fantastic.
"To leave without a medal at all would have been really tough, so it's a massive relief that we have come away with something."