(hennemusic) Tom Petty has been honored with a posthumous doctoral degree in music from the University Of Florida. According to TampaBay.com, the trustees at the school voted unanimously at a December 3 board meeting to recognize the Petty's enduring legacy.
University provost Joseph Glover read a motion to award Thomas Earl Petty, the Gainesville-born rock icon who died in 2017, a posthumous doctoral degree in music.
"(He's) widely considered among the most distinctive and influential musicians over the past 50 years," said Glover. "His presence remains significant as seen by abundant radio airplay and the popularity of events such as the Tom Petty birthday bash held in Gainesville. On the UF campus, Petty's famous 'I Won't Back Down' has become a mantra at athletic events."
"This honor was a dream of Tom's," shared his social media team. "Congratulations Dr. Tom Petty."
The singer - who was never enrolled at the school but did work as a groundskeeper there in his early years - previously received a Distinguished Achievement Award in 2006 from the university.
Fans of the school's Florida Gators football team paid tribute to Petty by singing along to his 1989 classic, "I Won't Back Down", the weekend following his passing. Watch video of the that here.