May 19, 2024

Florida native Tom Petty was recognized by the University Of Florida with an honorary Doctor Of Music degree. Bruce Petty, Tom’s brother, accepted the posthumous doctorate on his behalf at the university’s spring commencement ceremony (May 4th).

The university also partnered with Petty’s estate for what they called the Tom Petty Endowment for Guitars & Innovation, benefitting its School of Music’s Guitar and New Music Business & Entrepreneurship programs.

Solo and with the Heartbreakers, Petty had hit albums from the ’70s through the ’10s and sold more than 80 million records worldwide.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in ’02. 

Petty died of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 66.

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