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Merle Haggard honored by Cal State Bakersfield

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June 14, 2013 05:10 PM EST | AP

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — 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.

The music of Haggard and Owens exemplifies country music's "Bakersfield Sound."