At 78, Merle Haggard happily receives his High School Diploma.
Last week, after Merle Haggard‘s soundcheck at the Fox Theater in Bakersfield, California, the Principal of Bakersfield High School gave the country legend a special surprise. 60 years after stepping inside the doors of Bakersfield High, the Hag was finally awarded his high school diploma, sheepskin and all.
Following the footsteps of many country stars in his time, Haggard focused on more important things than school during his teenage years. Finding a job to support his family, while also working on his music, was Haggard’s top priority. However, Merle’s missing diploma didn’t have any impact on his drive and legendary career.
“Once a driller, always a driller,” Principal David Reese proclaimed as he presented Merle with the degree. The Bakersfield Californian reported the country singer was “mystified”, and replied, “But I was only there nine days.”
Haggard isn’t short of acclamations–he has a myriad of Grammy’s, ACM Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor, and an honorary doctorate. His honorary diploma is a celebration of the country singer’s standards for hard work, despite hardships.
Merle Haggard is currently on tour. His upcoming duet album with Willie Nelson, Django and Jimmie, will drop on June 2.