Country Music Veteran Merle Haggard Has Finally Earned A High School Diploma, Nearly Six Decades After Dropping Out As A Freshman.
The Mr. Tambourine Man singer attended California's Bakersfield High School for less than two weeks in the early 1950s, habitually missing classes and scoring an unimpressive academic record.
But thanks to the persistent efforts of Haggard's old grade-school classmate Don Hemingway and current school principal David Reese, Haggard was given the certificate, despite never having completed the full four-year term.
The 78-year-old singer returned to his native Bakersfield on Saturday (25Apr15) to play a gig at the Fox Theater, and hours before taking the stage, Reese presented Haggard with a diploma and a Bakersfield High School Drillers T-shirt.
During the presentation, Haggard noted, "But I was only there nine days," to which Reese responded, "Well, once a Driller, always a Driller."
This isn't Haggard's only educational accolade - he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Cal Sate Bakersfield's School of Arts and Humanities in 2013.