One of the traditional components of graduation ceremonies is receiving a diploma, which provides physical documentation and recognition of one’s educational accomplishments. At Brigham Young University (and earlier under the Academy) the form of diplomas and certificates has varied widely over the years. Examples of the different diplomas presented by the university, particularly during its early years, are preserved in the University Archives in our Collection of Diplomas and Certificates (UA 312).
This artificial collection, assembled by early archivists from a range of sources, contains one of the earliest diplomas issued by the school–an 1877 diploma for Samuel Moore of Payson, Utah for completion of a teacher training course taught by Karl G. Maeser.
The collection also contains a number of diplomas and certificates from prominent university administrators, including Karl G. Maeser, George H. Brimhall, and Edwin S. Hinckley, as well as other students and faculty members.
As with all diplomas, these documents recognize their recipients’ dedication to education and their connection to the university. As an aggregate, they also document the growth of the university from a local private high school to a internationally respected university.