University of Minnesota sets ceremony to award honorary degree to Prince

In this May 19, 2013 file photo, Prince performs at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Chris Pizzello | Invision/AP file 2013

The University of Minnesota will award the late music icon Prince an honorary degree at a performance-packed ceremony later this month.

The honorary doctor of humane letters degree is the university's highest honor, the U of M announced in a news release Friday. It's being awarded to posthumously recognize Prince's "remarkable talent and enduring influence in music, as well as his extraordinary contributions off-stage in shaping the city of Minneapolis, fostering musical talent and his influence in the realms of gender identity, fashion and socio-political activism."

It will be awarded at a ceremony on Sept. 26 at the Ted Mann Concert Hall in Minneapolis. The event will include music performances by university students and guest artists including Kirk Johnson, Jellybean Johnson, St. Paul Peterson and Cameron Kinghorn. Prince's sister Tyka Nelson will receive the degree.

The university's Board of Regents approved the honorary degree in June 2016, a couple months after Prince died from an accidental drug overdose. At that time, the university said it had been considering awarding the honorary degree before his death.

An event listing on the university website on Friday morning said the free ceremony is at capacity.

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