Kenny Chesney  Earned An Honorary Doctorate From His Alma Mater

“It was right here where I first learned to dream this dream that we've all been living for a while now."

Kenny Chesney ETSU
Photo: Courtesy of ETSU

The next time you're at a Kenny Chesney concert, ask if there is a doctor in the house and the country star just might answer! That's because Chesney returned to his alma mater and was surprised with an honorary doctorate.

"I am now a Doctor," Chesney shared on social media. Chesney won't be taking your blood pressure or writing prescriptions any time soon, though, because East Tennessee State University (ETSU) presented the singer with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, not medicine.

Chesney had returned to his old stomping ground at ETSU to help mark the 40th anniversary of the college's unique Bluegrass, Old-Time and Roots Music Studies Program. The internationally acclaimed program, founded by Dr. Jack Tottle, has inspired generations of students, some of who have gone on to illustrious careers in the music industry. That, of course, includes Chesney, who learned to play guitar from Tottle himself.

While Chesney was studying advertising at ETSU, he also took part in the bluegrass program and developed a love of country and roots music before graduating in 1990. "That's where I first started playing music and learned how universal music can be and how powerful it is," Chesney told Tennessee news outlet, WCYB News 5. "It was right here where I first learned to dream this dream that we've all been living for a while now."The honorary degree clearly meant a great deal to Chesney. "Last night was so special," he shared on Twitter. "I would like to thank Dr. Brian Noland, Dr. Jack Tottle, the Board of Trustees and the faculty and staff at East Tennessee State University for giving me an Honorary Doctorate. It felt so great to be back."

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles