Trayvon Martin will be awarded a posthumous degree in aeronautical science in memory of his ambition to become a pilot before he was shot to death in 2012.
Florida Memorial University earlier this week announced on Facebook its plan to award Martin a bachelor of science degree with a concentration in flight education on May 13. His mother, Sybrina Fulton, who graduated from the college, and father, Tracy Martin, will accept the award on behalf of their late son. The couple took to advocacy work following his death and established the Trayvon Martin Foundation to help prevent gun violence and work with victims and their families.
“Sybrina, our alum, epitomizes strength and dignity as she uplifts other victims of violence while effecting change for a more equal and just society,” Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, the university’s president, said in the Facebook post.
The university, located in Miami Gardens, Fla., decided to award the degree to mark the fifth anniversary of Martin’s death, a spokesman told the New York Times, adding that had Martin lived and finished a four-year college program, he would have graduated this spring.
Martin was shot dead by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, in February 2012 in Sanford, Fla. His death reverberated around the country and led to a nationwide discussion on racial profiling and gun rights laws. After an initial lack of chargers, Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder but ultimately was acquitted in 2013.