TV’s Principal Belding earns his degree

CHATTANOOGA, TN:  When the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga celebrates its 246th commencement ceremony on December 12, conference championship athletes, a commissioned military officer, and an internationally recognized actor will be among the 800 graduates.

UT Chattanooga will graduate candidates for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees on Saturday, December 12, at 9 a.m., in the UTC McKenzie Arena.

Famous for portraying Principal Belding on the widely popular television program “Saved by the Bell,” Dennis Haskins will receive a degree in theatre.

“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,” said Haskins.

And while UTC will be awarding an honorary degree during the ceremony, Haskins will not be taking it home. Haskins earned all of the academic credits necessary to earn his bachelor of arts degree.

“For reasons long past, I left just short of my liberal arts degree in theater. Over the years I’ve thought about and even pursued finishing that degree,” said Haskins. “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! Go Chattanooga! And Go Mocs!”

For more information about UT Chattanooga commencement, call the Records Office at (423) 425-4416 or visit

Media Relations Contacts: Email Chuck Cantrell or Kirk Englehardt or call (423) 425-4363.