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.
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.
I’m just going to assume that it’s my diploma he’s signing. It just makes it a better story that way.
His signature on my 1974 diploma is still like new after 44 years! I just emailed you a photos of it, Melissa.
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).
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.
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!
He really was!