MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida university awarded an honorary degree to Trayvon Martin, Saturday.
Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, took the stage at Florida Memorial University’s commencement in Miami Gardens to receive a posthumous bachelor’s degree in aeronautical science on their son’s behalf.
“Florida Memorial University has taken the unusual step to confer this posthumous degree award because your son has come to mean so much to so many,” announced FMU President Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis.
Fulton and Martin said the ceremony was bittersweet, and now they’re passing on an inspirational message to Trayvon’s fellow graduates.
“To the graduates, I tell you, there is no limit to what you can do,” said Fulton. “Just stay focused and put your mind to it, and you can do it.”
Trayvon’s father said he was deeply moved by this community’s show of support. “Today was just a prime example of what our community is built on, and just watching all the 2017 graduates come across the stage, and just to share that moment with them, it was very powerful,” he said. “To say that we’re thankful, that’s an understatement. I think that this just shows what this community, how they feel, how they believe in our family, how they believe in our foundation.”
Back in 2012, 17-year-old Trayvon was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida by George Zimmerman, who was later acquitted of all charges.
Trayvon was a senior at Krop Senior High School. He would have been a part of the Class of 2017 had he lived. “This was a day we planned for as parents, we just wish we had watched him walk across the stage,” his father said.
Trayvon’s parents created a foundation in their son’s name to put an face on gun violence and how it impacts families. This college degree is just one more way Trayvon Martin leaves a legacy.
“This is a great partnership that the Trayvon Martin Foundation has with Florida Memorial University,” Trayvon’s mother said. “Twenty years ago I graduated from here and it just means so much to me.”
University officials say they chose the degree as a way to honor steps Trayvon had taken to become a pilot.
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