Today in NC State History: Displeasure about diplomas

May 22, 2013
By Chris Saunders

blog_series63Many alumni hang their diplomas on the wall in order to remind them of the good times they had on campus and to symbolize their academic accomplishments.

But in May 1958, there were some NC State students who didn’t want to hang their diplomas, much less look at them, because of a change to the diploma’s design.

Earlier that year, the university’s administration had decided to change the style used on 1958 graduates’ diplomas from a more ornate Old English style to a simpler block style, according to an issue of The Technician from that same year.

That move did not go over well with students. That May, they started to speak out against the change to the administration.

That blossomed into a larger dialogue about students having a say in the debate about issues that affected them. And on this day 55 years ago, students had a petition printed in The Technician along with an article making a plea for at least some consideration in having input in the change. Senior-class president-elect Arron Capel supported the petition and voiced his desire to return to the Old English style.

“I have a statement from three of the four student members of the diploma committee, who definitely express their dislike for the block print type diploma,” Capel said in the article. “The student body does not understand why the diploma was changed so drastically.”

School administrators agreed to meet with students, but we couldn’t find if there was ever any d├ętente to the diploma debate of 1958.

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