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Not pictured in photo gallery, but essential to the production of Yale's diplomas were Frank Savino, production manager, Greg Mouning, IT support tech, and Carmen Cusmano, coordinator. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Several days before graduation, Faye Maison, a Yale senior awaiting her B.A. in Political Science, mused about the end of her educational journey at Yale: “It’s hard to imagine how I’ll feel on Monday. I think I’ll be glad to just hold my diploma and know that I’ve finished.”
The process by which a Yale diploma ends up in the hands of Yale seniors like Maison is the provenance of the Secretary’s Office, which keeps the official diploma records of the University and produces the diplomas with the assistance of Yale’s registrars and Yale Printing and Publishing Services (YPPS). The diplomas are signed by the President and Secretary of the University and embossed with the University seal.
Barbara Mongillo, assistant to the Secretary, is responsible for diploma production and the accurate record keeping of all Yale diplomas. She works closely during Commencement and throughout the year with the registrars from Yale College, the Graduate School, and the professional schools, who are responsible for entering and maintaining student grades and other academic data. Beginning in mid-April, the data for the Graduate and professional schools is formatted into diploma template files which are sent to YPPS where a proof of each student diploma is created. Joe Cinquino, director of Operations at YPPS, has a team that shepherds the diploma from proof to final form. The preliminary diplomas go back and forth between the Secretary’s Office and YPPS for extensive and repeated proofing to make sure that all the student names and degrees are completely accurate.
The production of the Yale College diplomas takes place on the Friday before Commencement. Mongillo waits for word from Steven Sprowson and Ruben Roman in the Yale College Registrar’s Office that all honors and distinctions have been entered into the system. When she receives the go-ahead, Mongillo produces the Yale College diploma template file and sends it to the YPPS printer. Joe Cinquino and his team begin printing the diplomas on white proof paper. Mongillo reviews these proofs and informs Joe to print the file onto the diploma stock. Around 4:30 p.m., she and her team pay a visit to YPPS and proof each diploma again for accuracy and general appearance. A smudge of ink or dirt means a new one must be produced immediately. Approximately 3000 diplomas are issued on Commencement.
“This time of year is exciting because it allows me the opportunity to work with people from different areas of the University toward a common goal,” notes Mongillo. “The registrars work hard to be sure everything is in the system correctly and on time, and the YPPS team always provides amazing support! I find it rewarding to give the students such an important document representing their years of academic study.”
The day before Commencement, the Dean’s and Master’s assistants from each residential college arrive at Mongillo’s Woodbridge Hall office to collect the diplomas for their residential college ceremonies that take place following the full ceremony on Old Campus. It is at her Ezra Stiles ceremony that Maison was handed her diploma as the culmination of her academic Yale career.
More Commencement links below: