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Georgia Tech diplomas collection

Georgia Tech diplomas collection

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Descriptive Summary

Title: Georgia Tech diplomas collection
Identification: MS364
Date: 1890-1972 (bulk dates 1890-1934)
Size/Quantity: 2.0 linear feet (one oversize box)
Language: This collection is written in English.
Creator: Georgia Institute of Technology. Archives and Records Management.
Repository: Archives & Records Management, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology
Abstract:This collection is made up of a selection of diplomas received by graduates of Georgia Tech.

Biographical/Historical Note

The first two graduates of the Georgia School of Technology, George C. Crawford and Henry L. Smith, finished their degrees in 1890. Eight students graduated in the following year, eighteen in 1892, eleven in 1893, nine in 1894, and twelve in 1895. All of these early graduates received degrees in Mechanical Engineering. Printed programs for Commencement Day ceremonies appeared in the Georgia Tech Bulletin beginning with the program for June 1895. Commencement ceremonies were traditionally held in June.

By the 1904-1905 academic year, enrollment had increased to 511 students, and with the increased enrollment came an increase in the number of graduations. Thirty-one students graduated in 1905, with degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Textile Engineering, Engineering Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, or Civil Engineering. Another growth period occurred during the first twenty years of the twentieth century, so that by October 1920, the student body numbered more than 2,400. A total of 126 students graduated that year, including thirty-six in Electrical Engineering, thirty-seven in Mechanical Engineering, nineteen in Civil Engineering, fourteen in Textile Engineering, six in Architecture, seven in Chemistry, four in Commerce, and three in the Co-op program. Women students were allowed to enroll in the evening School of Commerce beginning in 1917. The first woman graduate, Anna Teitelbaum Wise, graduated in 1919.

Following World War II the number of full-time students had increased to 5,000. After some declines in enrollment in the late 1960s and early 1970s, increases occurred again, reaching 11,393 students in 1982. By 2001, the total number of graduate and undergraduate students had reached 15,576. Georgia Tech awarded 2,035 bachelor's degrees, 1,080 master's degrees, and 255 doctorates in that year.

Sources: Georgia Tech Announcements, Engineering the New South, Georgia Tech Fact Book 2001.

Scope and Content Note

This collection is an artificial collection of a selection of diplomas received by graduates of Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech diplomas were issued in English, not Latin. The earliest diplomas contain handwritten signatures.

Included in this collection is the diploma of Henry L. Smith (Mechanical Engineering, 1890), one of the first two graduates, as well as the diplomas of several other early graduates, including Augustus Duke Black (ME, 1893), Charles Edwin Fairbanks (ME, 1892), Joseph Dent Goldsmith (ME, 1891), and E. A. Greene (ME, 1894). The diplomas of two women graduates in Commercial Science (May Ruth Turner, 1926, and Vera Catherine Martin, 1934) are also found here. The collection also includes a copy of Jimmy Carter's Doctor of Engineering diploma (1972). The Goldsmith diploma also includes a newspaper clipping from the Atlanta Constitution of May 28, 1931, containing news of the upcoming reunion of the first Tech classes and a photograph taken ca. 1890 of the classes of 1890 and 1891.


Diplomas are listed alphabetically, by last name of degree recipient.

Index Terms

Degrees, Academic.
Georgia Institute of Technology. Alumni and alumnae.
Georgia Institute of Technology. Degrees.
Georgia Institute of Technology. Students.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

The diplomas in this collection were donated from various sources, mainly small collections of personal papers.

Preferred Citation

Please cite [Item,] Georgia Tech Diplomas Collection (MS364), Archives, Library and Information Center, Georgia Institute of Technology.


This collection has been created by Archives and Records Management, Georgia Institute of Technology, from a number of small collections. It draws from numerous accession numbers (mainly small collections of personal papers), including: 1985.1102, 1992.0905, 1993.0606, 1998.1006, 1999.0503, 2000.024, 2002.063, 2003.014, 2006.111, 2006.112, 2006.178, 2007.108, 2007.112, 2008.084, 2009.016.

Processing Information

Mallory Velten and Christine de Catanzaro processed this collection in July 2009.


Additional diplomas will be added to this collection as they are received.

Revisions to Finding Aid

March 2010:
  • Finding aid imported into Archivists' Toolkit.

  • Restrictions

    Restrictions: Access


    Restrictions: Use

    Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.

    Other Finding Aids

    A print copy of this finding aid is available in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.

    Container List

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    121Baker, Henry Lichtenwalter, Jr. - Chemical Engineering (2003.004), 1934
    17Black, Augustus Duke - Mechanical Engineering (2006.111), 1893
    18Brosnan, Dennis William, Jr. - Civil Engineering (1992.0905), 1923
    19Brown, Brian Sperry - Engineering Chemistry (2006.178), 1907
    110Bryson, Joseph Henry - Architecture (1999.0503), 1928
    11Carter, Jimmy - Doctor of Engineering (2007.112) (copy), 1972
    12Cramer, Ronald William - Industrial Engineering (2007.108), 1967
    13Fairbanks, Charles Edwin - Mechanical Engineering (2006.111), 1892
    111Fort, Ernest Arlington - Civil Engineering (2008.084), 1924
    120Goldsmith, Joseph Dent - Mechanical Engineering (1985.1102) (FRAGILE); with newspaper clipping on class reunion of 1931, 1891; May 28, 1931
    115[Greene, E. A.] - Mechanical Engineering (2006.111), 1894
    14Kirby, John William (2009.016), 1947
    112Martin, Vera Catherine - Commercial Science (2003.014), 1934
    15Matthews, Charles William - Textile Engineering (2006.112), 1904
    113Moore, James Wayne - Mechanical Engineering (1998.1006), 1901
    114Moore, James Wayne, Jr. - Mechanical Engineering (1998.1006), 1928
    116Smith, Henry L. - Mechanical Engineering (2000.024), 1890
    117Strickland, Henry Leon - Mechanical Engineering (2006.111), 1902
    16Turman, Edwin Blashfield - Chemical Engineering (2006.112), 1936
    118Turner, May Ruth - Commercial Science (2002.063), 1926
    119Wey, Harold Bernard - Mechanical Engineering (2006.111), 1902