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Duff McKagan Is Seattle Central Community College’s 2013 Distinguished Alumni of the Year

“Rock bassist” isn’t exactly the most financially stable career, but Duff McKagan has proven an exception to the rule — not only by virtue of his membership in major bands like Guns ‘N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver, but also because of the dollar sense he picked up when he enrolled in college later in life.

McKagan’s pursuit of higher education, which included economics courses at Seattle University, is being rewarded with an honor from Seattle Central Community College, where he’s been named 2013’s Distinguished Alumni of the Year. He reflected on the award in a video message (embedded above), during which he looked back on his reasons for going back to school as an adult — and thanked Seattle Central for helping make a crucial difference in his life and career.

“I made money in my 20s, became sober in my 30s, looked around, and didn’t know who I could trust for money advice,” said McKagan, who added that he decided to learn about money for himself so he wouldn’t end up broke in his 40s. “Going to college was a main driver for me. Attending Seattle Central was an awesome experience — it taught me a lot about discipline in a great way.”

McKagan’s busy touring commitments prevented him from attending the ceremony — something he also attributes to his studies. “Having a college education has also helped my reputation,” he argued. “Ever since, people take me more seriously in my industry, because most people in the music industry do not go to college.”

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