Tom Petty awarded honorary Ph.D from University of Florida posthumously

The school’s board of trustees unanimously voted to award Thomas Earl Petty a posthumous doctoral degree in music during a Friday meeting.

Tom Petty has been awarded an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Florida four years after his death.

Tom Petty has been awarded an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Florida four years after his death. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Getty Images)

Born and raised in Gainesville, Petty once worked as a groundskeeper at UF as he tried to make it in the music industry, but he was never enrolled.

Petty passed away from an accidental drug overdose in October 2017. Days later during a UF home football game, the song “I Won’t Back Down” was played at the stadium as a memorial to Petty.

Petty was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two decades ago.

Petty was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two decades ago. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File)

ROCK LEGEND TOM PETTY DIED OF ACCIDENTAL OVERDOSE, FAMILY MEMBERS SAY

The song has since become a regular feature at Gators games.

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Usually backed by the Heartbreakers, Petty broke through in the 1970s and went on to sell more than 80 million records, featuring hits like “Free Fallin,’” “Refugee” and “American Girl.”

Petty passed away in October 2017 after suffering an accidental overdose.

Petty passed away in October 2017 after suffering an accidental overdose. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

Petty and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

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