Reasons for the Initiative|
Student Complaints:The initiative was brought before the Student Affairs Committee of the Columbia University Senate after graduating students complained about the appearance of the diplomas. The committee was surprised to find that most students at Columbia never see their diploma until graduation. The Student Affairs committee agreed that there is much room for improvement in the appearance of the diplomas.
250th Anniversary: While we respect the tradition of the last 100 years, we believe that as Columbia celebrates its 250th year, we can create a new tradition that represents the prestige of our institution.
Change in Administration: As a symbolic gesture to the Columbia University community, we seek to create new diplomas that illuminate the proactive and innovative initiatives supported by the new administration.
What would change in the design?
Center of focus: In both of the proposed designs, three pieces of information stand out: the name of the university, the name of the recipient, and the type of the degree.
Size: Currently, the diploma is an irregular size, and cannot be framed in a standard frame. The proposed designs are standard 11 X 14.
Typeface: Both proposed diploma designs have typefaces that differ from the one currently used
Seal: The University Seal is proposed to be larger and centered.
Color: Both proposals incorporate "Columbia Blue" - the aim is to highlight the school colors and make the diploma distinctive. The Seal will remain gold. School honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude), are now to be centered and written in gold instead of black.
Etching: The proposals introduce the possibility of an etching of Alma Mater in the background of both diplomas.
Who designed the diplomas?
The Diploma Task-Force comprises seven students (undergraduate, master and doctoral) and a consulting representative from the University Registrarís office. The design of the diplomas was conducted by Jostens, the diploma vendor, according to the input from the task force. Several student groups also submitted proposals to the task-force. The proposals were not used as models for Jostens, but allowed the task-force to point out desired themes to the vendor. Once the design process was complete, the task-force presented the top finalists to the Students Affairs Committee to approve its decision. The University Senate will review the results of this vote and propose a formal resolution to be passed on April 30th, 2004. The Trustees of Columbia University will decide on the final design of the diploma.
The diploma redesign project is an initiative of the Student Affairs Committee of the University Senate. For more information, click here. Any questions? Please email email@example.com.