Home / Gossip / Dennis Haskins, Belding on ‘Saved by the Bell,’ graduates

Dennis Haskins, Belding on ‘Saved by the Bell,’ graduates

A beloved TV principal finally has his diploma.

“Saved by the Bell” star Dennis Haskins, the 65-year-old actor who portrayed Mr. Belding on the wildly popular late-’80s sitcom, has finally graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s theater and speech department — decades after he began his coursework.

“It’s official! Tassel moved from right to left!” Haskins captioned a photo of the pomp and circumstance Saturday. “I’m a graduate!”

Haskins — who memorably scolded students onscreen with Belding’s now-iconic catchphrase “Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, what is going on here?” — told TMZ on Monday that he had fallen a few credits short of earning the degree in his pre-“Saved by the Bell” years.

The university credited him with “life experience,” but he returned to make up the actual coursework.

Mr. Belding (played by Dennis Haskins, r.) hands out diplomas in the series finale of "Saved by the Bell."NBC

Mr. Belding (played by Dennis Haskins, r.) hands out diplomas in the series finale of “Saved by the Bell.”

“At 65 years of age, I just got my degree. So the principal gets his degree. About time,” he said. “You can have your Fall Out Boys; you can have your Lauren Conrads. I’m graduating!”

“And it’s not honorary,” he added. “I earned it.”

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(l. to r.) Mario Lopez starred as A.C. Slater, Dennis Haskins as Mr. Richard Belding, Lark Voorhies as Lisa Turtle, Tiffani Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski, Elizabeth Berkley as Jessie Spano, Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris and Dustin Diamond as Screech Powers on “Saved by the Bell.”

Haskins has continued to find work well after the sitcom and its spinoffs, appearing on shows such as “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Men of a Certain Age,” “Mad Men” and “Hot in Cleveland.”

But none of those roles rivaled that of college grad for the Chattanooga native.

“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,” he told public radio station WUTC.

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saved by the bell ,
university of tennessee

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