Muskogee Okie Merle Haggard Receives Honorary Doctorate from Cal State

Jun 15, 2013

Merle Haggard

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — They call him "The Hag," but now Merle Haggard can answer to "doctor" as well.

Haggard was presented an honorary doctorate Friday by California State University, Bakersfield.

The doctor of fine arts honor was conferred during School of Arts and Humanities commencement ceremonies that also celebrated the late Buck Owens.

The university does not bestow honorary doctorates posthumously, so Owens was instead awarded the President's Medal.

The music of Haggard and Owens exemplifies country music's "Bakersfield Sound." Haggard is best known for hits like "Okie from Muskogee" and the "The Fightin' Side of Me".