MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This was no ordinary honorary degree ceremony.
Dozens of people were clapping to the beat as the drums and bass guitar were blasting throughout the Ted Mann Concert Hall on the University of Minnesota campus on Wednesday night.
But what else did you expect from a celebration honoring Minnesota’s very own Prince?
During his 57 years on earth, Prince Rogers Nelson was many things, but above all else, he was music and he was Minnesota.
To celebrate his contribution to the international music scene and to the state, the University of Minnesota honored him with the Doctor of Humane Letters, the highest honor that the school gives out.
It is almost always given to someone who is alive, but in this case, the Regents decided to make an exception, since the process was already underway when Prince passed away in April of 2016.
Tyka Nelson, Prince’s sister, was there to accept the degree on his behalf.
“If you [poked] him, you would probably hear a sound of music. He was music, kind of like how God is love,” Nelson said.
Prince was not only a musician, but an educator to many, including one of his former bandmates, Paul Peterson.
“I have always said that I went to the college … I went to the College of Prince. He taught me so much about music, organizing music, the business of music,” Peterson said.
More than his awards or his number-one singles, it is Prince’s legacy of mentoring and music education that will live on long after the final note is played.