Matthew McConaughey Receives High School Diploma 31 Years After Initially Graduating

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey returned to his alma mater of Longview High School in eastern Texas on Friday, May 17 to give the commencement address, receiving the high school diploma he never got 31 years after graduating.

Elizabeth Ross, a spokeswoman for Longview High School told the Longview News-Journal that “it’s customary for graduates to receive diploma holders and not their actual diplomas at commencement ceremonies, the diplomas must be picked up later” and that McConaughey never returned for his.

Ivan Nikolov/

“31 years ago, I was you, a graduating Longview Lobo,” McConaughey addressed the 2019 graduating class. “The most important reason for my success and I believe what will be the most important thing for your success, the one thing that we all have that should never be for sale, the thing that we give the most of and should protect with our life, that thing is our heart.”

He then asks, “What’s your 20?” the police term that’s been used to ask simply where one’s location is. “Follow your heart, own your heart, make your heart your 20 at all times,” the actor continued. “Like the recent tornado that swung through here, it attacked, it broke a few hearts, but you will heal. You will rebuild. Why? Because you’ve got your heart. It’s your 20.”

McConaughey said he traveled to Longview from his Austin home through Interstate 20, “I-20 brings you home. So as you go from here tonight and wherever you are, I want you to ask yourself this question from now on: ‘Man, what’s my 20?’ and know that it’s your heart.”

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After his commencement speech, the Serenity star was gifted his original high school diploma from 1988 and honored by the current graduating class.

“Proof,” McConaughey said after receiving his long-awaited diploma.

Longview football players Kamden Perry and Jephaniah Lister presented him with an autographed football as well as his own state championship ring at the ceremony.

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