The rocker claims the academic prize on at Monmouth University in his home territory of New Jersey...

JON BON JOVI has been awarded an honorary doctorate in humanities from MONMOUTH UNIVERSITY in his native NEW JERSEY.

The star was presented with the academic prize during yesterday’s (May 16) graduation ceremony. He also gave the opening address at the event.

“Every year, there’s a new crop of talent making records who want my spot,” he told the graduates. “At this very moment, all across the country, thousands of graduates are receiving diplomas, some from schools like Yale, Georgetown and Dartmouth, who may think their piece of paper is more valuable.


“Remember, we’re from Jersey. We’ve been underdogs all of our lives,” Bon Jovi said to cheers.

More than 1,000 students graduated yesterday.

Introducing Bon Jovi, who grew up in Sayreville and lives in nearby Middletown, University trustee Peter Novello said the performer was given the honorary degree because of his success as an entertainer and his humanitarian work including work on behalf of Special Olympics and the American Red Cross.

According to Bon Jovi spent two hours during the ceremony meeting the graduates and shaking hands. He then sped off in a waiting limousine flanked by a police cortege.