Tom Petty awarded honorary degree posthumously

A University of Florida law school has awarded an honorary degree posthumously to Tom Petty. The Tom Petty Foundation announced in April that the rocker was awarded a Doctor of Laws honor by the…

Tom Petty awarded honorary degree posthumously

A University of Florida law school has awarded an honorary degree posthumously to Tom Petty.

The Tom Petty Foundation announced in April that the rocker was awarded a Doctor of Laws honor by the university’s Levin College of Law.

“Tom Petty personified and embodied the commitment of the University of Florida,” university President Bernie Machen said at the time. “He was a true Gator legend — one who found unparalleled success in his business ventures and a passion for music that we are proud to have fostered for over 40 years.”

On Thursday, the university announced the honors had been conferred at an August 2 ceremony.

Petty co-founded the iconic Gainesville-based band the Heartbreakers and was a fixture in the community in the 1970s, spending the Christmas season each year throwing parties for area children and conducting charity events.

Petty, 69, died September 2. An autopsy released last month found no evidence of foul play or evidence of a struggle between Petty and his longtime girlfriend, Dana York, before he died. The two were in Florida for the New York concert of his band.

The university said in April that Petty would receive the law degree “in recognition of his profound legacy of music and his continued impact on generations of fans.”

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