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Diploma: The Many Names of the Diploma

May 22, 2008
The bunch of kids today look at a diploma as a dream come true. These are the same kids who see the diploma as a physical translation of overcoming all the late nights and nose bleeds during their school years. Though people like Bill Gates and Paul Allen might disagree, a real, authentic diploma is one of the greatest achievements a person can have.

This is the sad truth with regards to a significant majority of today's graduates, especially in many Third World nations. Nevertheless, the diploma still has its own purposes in a graduation ceremony.

The diploma is handed out by the school to a graduating individual as proof of that the former student has passed all requirements and pre-requisites to move on to the next level. Though it goes by different names, such as "testimonium" or "testamur" in other parts of the world, it is still the same testament to all the hard work and dedication poured in by the student to achieve a certain degree of knowledge and skill. However, diplomas were not originally made from papyrus. If great teachers like Aristotle or Plato had to hand out diplomas during their days, they would be made from sheepskin. The sheepskin is flattened through a special manufacturing process that turned it as thin as paper.

In Ireland, the parchment is the equivalent of the diploma. Diplomas were not always made of paper. At the time when diplomas were first implemented, these documents were actually made out of sheepskin. The sheepskin was passed through a special manufacturing process that flattened it and made it paper thin. The information on the diploma was then written by hand prior to the graduation ceremony. Eventually, parchment replaced the sheepskin as the primary material for making diplomas, and, later still; institutions began to bind them in leather.

The original diplomas were rather large compared to diplomas nowadays. Today, smaller-sized diplomas have become much more common, usually standard letter size or 4x4 size paper. In the United States, diplomas are awarded during graduation ceremonies of all educational levels: primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary.
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In Ireland, the parchment is the equivalent of the Diploma . Diploma in Many names
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