Five years after his death, Trayvon Martin will receive a posthumous bachelor’s degree in aeronautical science from Florida Memorial University (FMU), the university announced Wednesday on its Facebook page. If Martin were alive today, he would be 22 years old—the same age as many college graduates.
Martin’s degree will specify a concentration in flight education, the university said, “in honor of the steps he took during his young life toward becoming a pilot.” FMU, a historically black college, maintains a designated pilot training center. Martin attended a few aviation classes in high school and “had an obvious love of flying,” an FMU spokeswoman told CNN.
Martin’s name catapulted to national recognition in 2012 when he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, in Sanford, Florida. After spotting the then-17-year-old returning from a convenience store, Zimmerman called the Sanford Police Department to report Martin’s “suspicious” behavior. An altercation followed, and resulted in Martin being fatally shot in the chest. Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder, but ultimately acquitted in July 2013.
The case sparked national conversation over racial profiling and police brutality, serving as the genesis of the Black Lives Matter movement. A month after the shooting, former president Barack Obama famously declared, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.”