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New Wine, Old Bottle

February 2, 2010

There’s much to be written about the Charter Class, and this is just a tidbit.  It took me almost four decades, and three years of working on AMP projects, to make this connection:

yearbook page

1972 Yearbook flyleaf

Charter Class Diploma, 1972

The rubber stamp text on the diploma reads: “First lot  inspected and passed by 72.”

Was someone thinking of apple wine?

Sam Babbitt shared more about diploma design in a recent email:

First of all, the PRE-Charter Class (’71) selected an intaglio etching. It always bothered me a bit, because it shows a woman evidently peeking out from behind a translucent curtain. I immediately thought of the passage in “The Invisible Man” in which Ellison muses about the statue on their campus which is said to depict a young neophyte being relieved of his blindfold by an older man. Problem was that it also looked as if the older man might be blindfolding the younger! Same with that etching: maybe she was not coming out of hiding, but going in!

Anyway, I had done some questioning of the Albany education folk as to what was required to be on a diploma. Answer: Nothing, really. The operative document is the transcript. With that in mind, we went pretty minimalist and the charter class chose a very simple, elegant layout. Then came the Celtic design, and after one more version, everyone decided to stick with it.

If there’s anyone reading who can locate a 1971 diploma, or share their Celtic one, please let us know!  We’d love to scan it for display here.

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