Kenny Chesney Receives Honorary Doctorate From East Tennessee State University

Kenny Chesney Honorary Doctorate

That’s Dr. Kenny to you! Kenny Chesney received an honorary doctorate in recognition for his accomplishments in music from his alma mater, East Tennessee State University. He shared the accomplishment with his fans on social media. “I am now a Doctor. Last night was so special. I would like to thank Dr. Brian Noland, the Board of Trustees, and the faculty and staff at East Tennessee State University for giving me an Honorary Doctorate. I was also able to reconnect with the man who taught me how to play guitar when I was in college, Dr. Jack Tottle, and also spend some time with the current @ETSU bluegrass band. It felt so great to be back,” Kenny Chesney wrote in the caption on his Instagram.

Kenny returned to ETSU to help honor Dr. Jack Tottle, who was pivotal in helping mold Kenny’s career back when he was in college.  “Jack Tottle taught me how to dream or inspired me to have the ability to dream enough to believe I could do this,” Kenny said of his mentor. “He showed me that music could make connections beyond what we see, that it could communicate beyond language or location. He took us – the ETSU Bluegrass Band – to Russia as part of a cultural exchange and made that idea real.”

Doctor Kenny Chesney!

“Here at ETSU, we have issued a challenge to our faculty, staff and students to ‘go beyond.’ Mr. Chesney, soon-to-be Dr. Chesney, you exemplify that ideal. You have gone beyond genres, unifying people through your art and your work,” ETSU president Brian Noland said in a ceremony honoring Kenny and Dr. Tottle on October 21. “You have gone beyond borders, sharing your amazing talent all over the world. And you have gone beyond yourself, using your voice to uplift others and give back to communities.”

Kenny reminisced on his time at ETSU during this ceremony. “To say I wouldn’t dream this is an understatement,” he said. “I was spending most of my time at Chucky’s Trading Post, the Downhome, Quarterback’s BBQ and in the rooms at the music building, practicing my guitar. All I wanted was to get a song on the radio, write some things I could be proud of and get out on the road and have some fun.” Kenny graduated from ETSU with a degree in advertising in 1990. Congratulations to Dr. Kenny! Follow Kenny Chesney on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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