Despite graduating from St. John’s University years back, J. Cole only just received his degree.

Several faculty members that knew the rapper (then Jermaine Cole) stopped by the ad hoc green room to congratulate him, and one in particular brought with her a fitting gift. Dr. Julia Upton — former Provost and the professor of Cole’s “Discover New York” class (a required course for incoming freshmen) — bestowed him with his official college diploma. Majoring in communications and minoring in business, Cole graduated Summa cum laude in 2007 (with a G.P.A. of 3.82) but he never received his sheepskin because of a missing library book.

“I owed money for a library book that I didn’t turn in,” he admitted sheepishly. He has “no clue” what title it was but apparently even one vanishing book cost him his degree. “If you have any outstanding fee, that translates to money. There’s a price associated with it. I never paid. That’s why I don’t have my degree.”

Luckily, the school waived the fee for its star pupil. “Tonight, I guess they let me slide,” he laughed. Nearly a decade after the fact, Cole already knows exactly what he’s going to do with his long-awaited piece of paper. “I’m gonna send it to my Mom.”

Source: Village Voice