by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)
The University of Minnesota honored music legend Prince Wednesday night with the institution’s highest award — an honorary doctor of humane letters degree, CNN reported.
“Prince emulates everything a musician should be,” Michael Kim, director of the university’s School of Music said. Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson accepted the award from university President Eric W. Kaler and Regent Darrin Rosha at a ceremony in Minneapolis, the city where Prince was born and raised.
“If you (poked) him, you would probably hear a sound of music. He was music, kind of like how God is love,” Nelson offered.
Although Prince died two years ago in April, the university decided to continue a process that had begun in 2015 and honor him with the posthumous degree. Awarding someone who isn’t alive is rare, the school said.
The university said the degree is in recognition of the singer’s “remarkable talent, enduring influence in music, and his role in shaping the city of Minneapolis.”
Kim said the university’s honor to Prince also serves as an important lesson and reminder. “Society pressures young people to conform to certain standards, and Prince was anything but standardized,” he said. “Be yourself, know who you are and good things are going to happen.”