Prince Michael Jackson has praised his family for encouraging him to complete his college degree.
The oldest son of the late Michael Jackson graduated with honors from Loyola Marymount College in Los Angeles on Saturday with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
The proud 22-year-old showed off his cap and gown on Instagram Sunday, posting several photos with family members — including grandmother Katherine Jackson and cousins TJ, Taryll, and Taj Jackson.
“Yesterday I graduated from @loyolamarymount Cum Laude in the school of business with a focus on entrepreneurship. I met so many people and learned so much that the experience alone is worth it,” began the note he shared to the social media platform.
“I wish I could thank everyone that helped me make it to the end but I can’t and unfortunately they’re not all pictured here. But the biggest thanks goes to @tjjackson9 and his brothers @tarylljackson and @tajjackson who kept pushing me to graduate and finish up my degree when I wanted to quit.”
Jackson signed off by projecting into the future. “Honestly I can’t tell you if all of it was worth it yet but I am proud of my degree as I believe it is a testament to my dedication and discipline,” he continued. “I’m thankful for LMUs education of a whole person and the implementation of Jesuit values because I believe they inspire graduates like me to continue to change the world for the better.”
Jackson’s family were just as proud. On Saturday, TJ Jackson tweeted a photo of himself and the graduate. “Prince, it’s been a long road but you did it. Keep learning, keep growing and keep giving back! So so proud of you. I love you. #graduation #congrats #proudcousin,” he wrote.
Jackson remembered his late father with a quote embroidered on his graduation sash: “In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.”
On Monday, he shared more shots from his big day, including a sweet kiss with his girlfriend — a Loyola Marymount classmate and fellow graduate.
“Congrats to this cutie on graduating???,” he wrote before adding “peep the footwear???” — pointing out his sandals emblazoned with the words “Kids” and “Life.”
Though Jackson has declined to reveal the name of his girlfriend in the past, he did speak about her positive influence on his life at the Dee Dee Jackson Foundation‘s 3rd Annual DDJF Costume for a Cause event in October.
“I think in everything there’s an important balance,” he told PEOPLE exclusively at the time. “I think that I’m a certain way, and she’s very — I don’t want to say opposite — but complementary in a way that we balance each other out. I’m more aggressive, she’s a little softer.”
He added that his girlfriend “encourages” him to “see things through a different light” and vice versa. “It helps us stay well-rounded,” he continued.
The couple often travel together and flew to Las Vegas in the fall to celebrate her 21st birthday. Despite his high profile, Jackson said their favorite date nights are surprisingly normal: “She likes the beach. I like the movies!”
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