Doc and Merle Watson featured at 1973 Spring Commencement

This week is exam and commencement time at Appalachian State University. As I looked for interesting commencement photos in the University Archives to post on our library’s Twitter account (@belklibrary), I discovered that Doc Watson and his son, Merle, performed at the May graduation ceremony in 1973. With a little more digging, I found that Doc Watson also received an honorary Doctor of Folk Arts degree and gave the commencement address. Below are a press release and some images that tell us about the 1973 ceremony.

Doc (center) and Merle (right) Watson rehearse “backstage” before the ceremony.
From UA. 5015, University Communications Records, “Commencement” press releases.
Doc Watson (second from right) is about to be hooded for an honorary Doctor of Arts degree at the 1973 Spring Commencement ceremony.
Doc and Merle at the ceremony, held in Varsity Gym.