KU News Release


Dec. 2, 2010
Contact: Todd Cohen, University Relations, (785) 864-8866

KU unveils new diploma design for 2011

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has unveiled a new design for its diploma, the first update since 1981. Students graduating at the end of the fall semester will be the first to receive the new diplomas.

“A diploma should communicate clearly the recipient’s important accomplishment and credentials but also reflect the prestige of the institution,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “The new KU diploma accomplishes that objective. It is an elegant combination of the modern and traditional. We hope our graduates agree and will proudly display their hard-earned diplomas.”

In addition to a change in look, the diplomas for bachelor’s and master’s degree recipients have been changed to a standard size of 8.5 by 11 inches, rather than 9 by 12 inches, so graduates can purchase less expensive, standard-sized frames. The size of the 14-by-17-inch doctoral and law degree diplomas is unchanged.

The names of the university and graduate now appear in the Journalistic typeface, as it has more clarity, reflects the university’s nearly 150-year history and replaces a typeface in which the capital “K” and lowercase “r” were indistinguishable. The Journalistic typeface, inspired by newspaper nameplates in the 1920s, is noted for maintaining legibility even in smaller point sizes for diplomas and other formal documents. Other typefaces used in the new design are Palatino and Times.

The new design also establishes a hierarchy in the type that the current design lacks and incorporates the university’s Trajan logo while continuing to feature the university’s 1866 seal.

The revision eliminates the gold foil stickers that were attached to diplomas of graduates who earned “distinction” and “highest distinction” status, which some institutions refer to as cum laude and summa cum laude status. Now the appropriate words will be printed directly on the new diplomas.

Alumni who graduated before the fall 2010 semester who want to order diplomas with the new design may do so starting in 2011. The signatures of the current chancellor and chair of the Kansas Board of Regents will appear on reordered diplomas.

For more information for Lawrence and Edwards campus alumni, visit the University Registrar's website.

Medical center alumni should go to the Student Center website to submit an order.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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