This article takes a deep dive into Lil Wayne’s education history, shedding some light on misinformation that has been perpetuated across the internet.
Contrary to what many websites claim, Lil Wayne was not awarded an honorary degree by the University of Houston. I have personally verified this information with the university.
As one of the most successful rappers of all time, Lil Wayne – real name Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. – clearly doesn’t need a formal education. Nonetheless, it is well-known that the artist enrolled in psychology courses at the University of Houston in 2005.
The fact that Lil Wayne attended the University of Houston is confirmed by several sources, and has been discussed by the rapper in interviews.
It is incorrect, however, that Lil Wayne was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Houston in 2008. This claim has been made on numerous websites, including Revolt, AllHipHop, The List, and BestAccredittedColleges.
The topic first came to my attention when I was researching for an article about rappers with degrees. I dug deep into the topic, and I came across Lil Wayne’s name several times.
Digging into the topic, I found that there were no reliable sources to confirm that Lil Wayne was awarded such a degree. Moreover, I had direct communication with the University of Houston confirming that no such degree was awarded to the rapper.
No Press Coverage
Many rappers have been awarded honorary degrees. Almost always, when a rapper is awarded an honorary degree, the university will release a press release, and the news will be covered in local media. Some examples include this one about Missy Elliot, this one about Dizzee Rascal, and this one about LL Cool J.
In the case of Lil Wayne, no such press releases exist. I searched high and low without finding a single example.
Considering that Lil Wayne is one of the most highly-regarded rappers of all time, it would be unlikely that a university would award him a degree without announcing it on their website, or any other site.
Conspicuous Omissions in Relevant Publications
Aside from the lack of press coverage, any mention of Lil Wayne having an honorary degree is conspicuously absent from authoritative publications.
A 2015 article in The Daily Cougar, the University of Houston’s student newspaper, discusses potential candidates to deliver the class of 2016 commencement speech, including Lil Wayne. The writer states that Lil Wayne never graduated from the university (which we all know).
What is more significant, however, is that they mention that Jim Nantz – another candidate for the commencement speech – received an honorary degree in 2001. However, no such mention is made of Lil Wayne having been presented with such a degree.
Official University Records
Conclusively, official documents from the University of Houston clearly state that the institution did not confer any honorary doctoral degrees at all in 2008.
It could have been possible, in theory, that the university awarded non-doctoral degrees and did not publish these. However, this is not the case.
I submitted a freedom of information request to the university, and received an almost instant response confirming the accuracy of this list of honorary degrees awarded by the University of Houston. Lil Wayne is absent from the list, meaning he has not been awarded an honorary degree by the institution.
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