University of Minnesota gives Prince honorary doctorate

The university is voting on giving Prince an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from the College of Liberal Arts.

- During Prince's time with his most well-known back-up band, The Revolution, his keyboard player was nicknamed "Dr. Fink."  Now, the recently deceased icon will be known as a doctor himself, thanks to the University of Minnesota.

The Board of Regents voted Friday to give Prince an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the College of Liberal Arts. University officials say the idea was under consideration before Prince passed away and since it was so far along, they decided to go ahead with it.

After Prince's death in April, President Eric Kaler said the U's highest award may be given ".... to an individual who has achieved acknowledged eminence in cultural affairs, in public service or in a field of knowledge and scholarship. As Minnesotans and people around the world celebrate Prince's life and contributions in each of these categories, the university believes the appropriate action is to continue the process and consider awarding the honorary degree posthumously."

At Friday's Board of Regents meeting, President Kaler said there will be a "very significant upcoming event" to present Prince with his honorary degree, adding that it will be "quite stellar."

Sources tell Fox 9 the U of M is planning a tribute concert to Prince sometime this summer.  But while TCF Bank Stadium has hosted shows for everyone from Beyonce to the Rolling Stones, the Prince tribute would most likely be at the much smaller Northrop Auditorium.

Even though the honorary doctorate is awarded after Prince's death, the university says it is technically not a posthumous degree because the process started before Prince died.


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