Norman, Pen in Hand

I’ve been having a sort of sludgy, incoherent week but then today I found a picture of President Hackerman that I’d never seen before. Here’s Norman signing diplomas in his office, probably early 1980s:

If that doesn’t cheer you up, there’s nothing I can do for you.

As an aside, note that he’s using some sort of felt tip pen. Over time this revealed itself to have been a mistake–that ink tends to fade into near invisibility and on some of the diplomas he signed you can barely see a signature at all.

Bonus: I smiled when I saw that someone had kept a sample of his signature in an envelope. His is easily the worst handwriting I’ve ever been forced to contend with.

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7 Responses to Norman, Pen in Hand

  1. Galloway Hudson '60 says:

    I was unaware that the signatures were not machine-generated. w. V. Houston signed my B. A. in 1960, and Carey Croneis, my B. S. in 1961. Both signatures are perfectly legible and intact nearly seven decades after the fact.

  2. loki_the_bubba says:

    I’m just going to assume that it’s my diploma he’s signing. It just makes it a better story that way.

  3. Leonard Lane says:

    His signature on my 1974 diploma is still like new after 44 years! I just emailed you a photos of it, Melissa.

  4. Deborah Gronke Bennett (BSEE Hanszen 1982) says:

    I think the picture is from the Spring of 1982. I have a memory of thinking my diploma was somewhere in that pile.

    I just checked the dimplomas for myself and my husband. They don’t get direct light, but the signatures are badly faded. I hadn’t noticed before now. (We graduated in 1981 and 1982).

  5. Rumor had it that Hackerman used a Flair, but that looks like a Sharpie, a much better choice. The Sharpie was first sold in 1964, so that fits.

    A few days before commencement (1980?) we were scouting roof access at Lovett Hall to get some photos of the ceremony. I remember a safe standing open that was full of diplomas. I’m sure Hackerman spread the signing over several days. I expect the safe is still there. It would be a major pain to move a safe down all those stairs.

  6. dnorton2015 says:

    My 1974 diploma was damaged in the 80s by a farmer who obviously didn’t know real sheepskin doesn’t respond well to a heat press. Dr Hackerman was long retired so I didn’t have much hope for the replacement. Much to my surprise the office assistant told me he dropped in every few weeks to sign replacements. Great guy!

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