Saved by the Bell's Mr. Belding (a.k.a. Dennis Haskins) Is Officially a College Graduate at 65
Haskins, who played the principal on popular sitcom Saved By the Bell, graduated from University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Saturday
It’s alright, ’cause he’s got a degree!
Dennis Haskins, the actor best known as principal Richard Belding on ’90s sitcom Saved by the Bell, graduated from college on Saturday.
The 65-year-old, who obtained his bachelor of arts degree in theatre from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, shared the exciting news to his Instagram account over the weekend.
In one selfie the actor smiled during the ceremony while wearing a cap and gown.
“It’s official,” Haskins wrote. “Tassel moved from right to left! I’m a graduate! #UTC #TheaterandSpeech #GoMocs.”
“As successful as some have said I’ve been, from the incredible success of Saved by the Bell, other quality acting roles, the books I’ve written, and even UTC Distinguished Alumni in 2000, there’s always been something missing for me – my college degree,” Haskins said in a statement on the university’s website.
Haskins wrote that he left school initially “just short” of receiving a liberal arts degree, and added that he’s thought about finishing it for several years.
“Now, with the forward thinking policies of this great university that I love so much that have benefited many other graduates, I join these graduates in holding my head high having earned my liberal arts degree in theater from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga,” he said.
In a livestream from the ceremony, Haskins can be seen taking the stage at around 1:36:45 while the Saved By the Bell theme music played.
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The actor also expressed his gratitude toward fans after many congratulated him on social media.
“All of you wonderful people and all your wonderful messages have me trending on Facebook! You are too kind,” he wrote, sharing a screenshot of some of the media coverage of his graduation.
He then shared a photo with some of his fellow graduates, all wearing their caps and gowns.
“Thank you to my fellow graduates and all you wonderful people for your love and support on this amazing day for many of us!” he wrote, adding the hashtags “#blessed” and “#grateful.”
Haskins was among 800 other graduates in UTC’s 246th commencement ceremony.