On Thursday (5.04) by way of Instagram, the estate of Tom Petty announced that the University of Florida had awarded the legendary rocker a posthumous, honorary Doctor Of Music degree.
About the event, Tom’s brother Bruce Petty stated “I don’t think anyone in our family, including him, thought that he would be linked with the University of Florida this way.” “It’s such a powerful thing, it was his life-long dream, and I know he would just be over-the-top, crazy happy about it.”
In his own statement, the University of Florida’s School of Music director Kevin Orr said that the institution was “privileged to honor Tom Petty with an honorary doctorate degree in Music, celebrating not only his extraordinary achievements as an artist, but the ways in which his music has and continues to unite us as a community”. The singer was previously awarded the university’s Distinguished Achievement Award in 2006.
Donating $100,000 to the music school’s guitar and music business programs, Tom’as estate has partnered with the university to form the Tom Petty Endowment for Guitars & Innovation.