Jack White to receive honorary degree from Wayne State

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News
Jack White at the Third Man Records store in Detroit's Cass Corridor.

Detroit —  Jack White will receive an honorary degree from Wayne State University, the university announced Thursday.

White, a Detroit native who gained fame with the band The White Stripes, will be honored during the commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. on May 3 at the Fox Theatre.

White will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters for "his dedication to Detroit and significant contributions to the arts as one of the most prolific and renowned artists of the past two decades," the university said in a news release.

Born and raised in southwest Detroit, White graduated from Cass Technical High School, worked as an upholsterer and played in underground bands before founding the critically acclaimed The White Stripes, a garage rock duo.

White attended some classes at Wayne State in the mid-1990s but opted out to pursue music, according to the university. In its earliest gigs in 1999, The White Stripes played WSU's Student Center. 

More: Jack White invests millions in his hometown 

White has won 12 Grammy Awards, and all three of his solo albums have reached No. 1 on Billboard charts. Rolling Stone recognized him as one of “the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” He has collaborated with artists like Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam and Beyoncé.

More than 4,000 Wayne State University students have applied for graduation this spring, concluding the university's 151st academic year. The spring 2019 Commencement will feature five ceremonies over two days on May 2 and May 3.

Honorary degrees will also be granted to Florine Mark, president and CEO of the WW Group (formerly Weight Watchers), and Earl Lewis, leading scholar and social justice champion.

Twitter: @SarahRahal_