Trayvon Martin dreamed of becoming a pilot, but he was killed in 2012. Now, Florida Memorial University has announced he will posthumously receive a bachelor’s degree in aviation.
The degree in aeronautical science with a concentration in flight education will honor Martin’s love of planes and the path he was on to one day become a pilot, according to an FMU Facebook post. It also will recognize his connection to Barrington Irving, who was the youngest person — and only Black — to fly solo around the world. Martin took camp sessions with Irving, as his parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin recounted in “Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin: A Parents’ Story of Love, Injustice, and the Birth of a Movement.” Fulton and Tracy Martin will be on hand to accept the degree Saturday, May 13, during commencement ceremonies.
Since the death of their son, Martin’s parents have established The Trayvon Martin Foundation, which aims to stop gun violence. It also provides technological and math education to nonwhite people and women and mentors 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, president of Florida Memorial University, said in a statement.
After the commencement ceremony, FMU will host a private fundraiser in part to support The Trayvon Martin Foundation, which is headquartered on the Miami Gardens, Fla., campus.
Trayvon Martin was gunned down in 2012 by former neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of second-degree murder charges in 2013. Martin’s death led to the launch of the Black Lives Matter movement and resulted in a renewed conversation about race relations in America.