Thousands sing Tom Petty songs at Gator football games, and UF President Kent Fuchs and Fall graduates sang the lyrics, “I won’t back down” at commencement last December.

Starting Fall 2018, UF will again commemorate Gainesville native Petty — this time, in the classroom.

Mass communication professor Clay Calvert tweeted Wednesday announcing his upcoming one-credit Honors course devoted to Petty’s life called "Petty: The Biography," according to the Gainesville Sun

The required text for the class is Warren Zanes’ "Petty: The Biography," which Calvert said is much more than a story of Petty himself. Calvert said the class may also include analyzing lyrics.

“It’s about life in the music industry, hard work and a lot of characteristics that (Petty) had that get (someone) to the top, no matter what the field would be,” he said.

Calvert said the effort Petty put into his craft serves as an example for what dedication looks like, no matter the student’s discipline.

“But it’s incredibly difficult to maintain that (drive),” Calvert said. “I think we saw that even at the very end, when he had broken his hip and was clearly in pain, but he refused to stop.”

The class will be offered as part of the Honor Program’s “(Un)common Reads,” which consists of classes that focus on a book or author. It will be capped at 15 students, said Mark Law, the director of the Honors Program.

Registration for the course begins during Honors early registration on March 29.

“I expect this is going to be a popular one,” Law said.

Contact Elliott Nasby at enasby@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter on @_ElohEl.

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