Oops! Radford misspells Virginia on diplomas

Whoever proofread Radford University’s diplomas didn’t follow the elementary-school dictum to double-check that all three “i’s” in Virginia are dotted.

The university awarded diplomas at its December and May commencements that spelled Virginia without the final “i.” Also misspelled was thereto, as in “all honors, rights and privileges thereto appertaining.”

Thereto is spelled therto on the diplomas.

“I just want it fixed,” said Jessica Blevins, who received her nursing degree in December.

The university said in a statement Tuesday it will make amends “in a timely manner.”

Corrected diplomas will be mailed to about 1,480 undergraduate and graduate students who received degrees at the two commencements.

Blevins said she received her diploma a week or two after commencement from the registrar’s office.

“I looked at it when I got it, but I never thought to go over it with a fine-tooth comb,” she said.

She heard about the error Tuesday when word began to spread about the misspellings on diplomas awarded in May, which graduates received last week.

“Radford is a great school …. regardless of the mistake,” Blevins said.

Still, she said, she was “so surprised -- I would have never thought to look at my diploma for spelling errors!”

Radford, which also learned of the error Tuesday, said the problem was caused when a commercial software system used to produce the diplomas within the university’s registrar’s office was upgraded last fall.

“That software upgrade required that the diploma narrative be rekeyed into the program,” Joe Carpenter, Radford University’s chief communications officer, said in a statement. “It was during the rekeying process that the typographical errors were introduced into the template.”

The university plans to provide a customer service email and phone number to graduates who have questions about replacing the diplomas.

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