For its first presentation, the Benny Andersson Scholarship was awarded to Sofia Lilly Jönsson for her graduate studies in musicology that focused on the late Ingmar Bergman's 1957 film, "Wild Strawberries." Presented by the scholarship's namesake - the former ABBA member, playwright and composer - during ceremonies in early summer at Stockholm University, the award amounts to about $2,500 (SEK 20,000).

Specifically, Jönsson's work described the collaboration between Bergman and Erik Nordgren, who was musical director of the film and worked with the iconic Swedish director for nearly two decades on some fifty productions. In 2008, Andersson received an honorary PhD from Stockholm University, and thereafter, he founded the scholarship for a doctoral work on Swedish music.

Benny Andersson was awarded an honorary doctorate by Stockholm University's Faculty of Humanities on September 26, 2008.

From the University's motivation for the honor:

Benny Andersson, born 1946, has been a leading figure within Swedish popular music for over forty years. Well known within Swedish music export, in particular through his work with ABBA, he has contributed significantly to placing Swedish music on the world map. Benny Andersson has, during recent years, widened the entire genre of popular music through the production of musicals inspired by Swedish tradition and history, such as Kristina from Duvemåla, based on Vilhelm Moberg’s epic tale of mass emigration, and seen by over one million people worldwide.

Benny Andersson has contributed importantly both to the preservation and the growth of the Swedish folk music tradition. By bringing attention to folk music, and by means of his own compositional work based upon older musical traditions, Benny Andersson has succeeded in capturing the tone of the Swedish musical soul. By doing so he has initiated a renaissance of the folk instrument, the accordian. The results of Benny Andersson’s long and important engagement with Swedish folk and popular music span an enormous breadth and are at the same pervaded by a uniquely high quality.