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Georgia Tech diplomas collection

Identifier: MS364

  • Staff Only


This collection is made up of a selection of diplomas received by graduates of Georgia Tech.


  • 1890-1972 (bulk dates 1890-1934)
  • Majority of material found within 1890 - 1934


General Physical Description note

(one oversize box)

Restrictions: Access


Restrictions: Use

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


2 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

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.

History of Georgia Tech Diplomas and Graduation

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.


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

Other Finding Aids

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

Custodial History

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


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.


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

General Physical Description note

(one oversize box)

Processing Information

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

Inventory of the Georgia Tech Diplomas Collection, 1890-1972 (bulk dates 1890-1934)
Mallory Velten, Christine de Catanzaro
Copyright July 2009.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology Repository

Georgia Institute of Technology
266 4th Street, NW
Atlanta 30332-0900 USA