Zach Bryan never had the traditional college experience, but as of late last month, he officially holds his Bachelor's degree — thanks to a promise he once made to his mother.

As most fans know, Bryan served in the Navy before throwing all his weight behind his musical career, and between those two pursuits, he never got a chance to enroll in a traditional four-year college. Still, his mom — Annette DeAnn Bryan — always hoped he'd get his degree.

The singer and his mother were close, and after she died in 2016, he named his first full-length studio album, DeAnn, after her. In a lengthy social media post he shared shortly after her death, Bryan described his mother as his "best friend" and added, "She knew me better than I knew myself, and better than anyone will ever know me."

Now — about five years after the typical college student graduates, at age 27 — Bryan hopped on Twitter to share that he finally earned his degree, after studying and taking exams everywhere from backstage at shows to deployments overseas.

"Got my Bachelor's yesterday after exams in the desert and green rooms to about a hundred different venues," he noted in mid-December. "No arrogance attached just a promise I made my mom a long while back. Bound to be a good week, guys."

And a good week it was: Some days later, video popped up of Bryan getting a surprise graduation ceremony from his team backstage at a show. Wearing a traditional cap and gown, the singer walked out to find a full mariachi band and a room full of his loved ones cheering, clapping and waving him on as he walked down the aisle to claim his diploma.

Next up, Bryan has a busy year in store: Months before his 2024 Quittin Time Tour kicks off, he's already expanded the trek as a result of fan demand. That run starts in early March.

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Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes

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