Merle Haggard honored by Cal State Bakersfield

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 & 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.

Photo: The Bakersfield Californian, Felix Adamo/AP
Dr. Merle Haggard shares a laugh with fellow doctor and Calif. State University Trustee, Douglas Faigin (left) at CSU Bakersfield.

The music of Haggard and Owens exemplifies country music’s “Bakersfield Sound.”