By Kristen Bailey april 30, 2018
Graduating from Georgia Tech is a big accomplishment, but one way to commemorate it is very small.
After Commencement, graduates eagerly check their mailboxes to receive their official degree for framing and display — but they can also get a pocket-sized version of that prized piece of paper.
The Georgia Tech Alumni Association has issued these diminutive degrees since at least the mid-1970s.
"It's sort of in lieu of a membership card. Alumni can take out their mini diploma and flash it when they meet another Tech graduate," said Len Contardo, the Georgia Tech Alumni Association's vice president of alumni outreach. "Most people keep it in their wallet."
Kyle Coogan's framed wallet diplomas in his home office.
For Kyle Coogan, a two-time Tech graduate, the tiny versions are perfect for displaying his Tech pride.
“After graduating, I moved around quite a bit, and I have never gotten around to framing my full-size degrees,” said Coogan, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 2012 and 2014, respectively.
Coogan's wallet-sized bachelor's degree and his dog, Lily.
Instead, he framed the wallet versions.
“I figured this was a more practical way to spruce up my home office with not only some Tech love, but also a bit of humor.”
Contardo has even heard of the miniature diplomas coming in handy overseas for alumni to verify their education credentials. But, perhaps most importantly, it keeps Tech ties close to alumni wherever they go.
"It's a great sense of nostalgia, and our alumni have a great sense of pride about having graduated from Georgia Tech," he said.
To receive a pocket diploma, Spring 2018 graduates need only register or log into the Alumni Association site at gtalumni.org. Then, complete the form at gtalumni.org/mini18. Past graduates can order a replacement for a small fee.