Journalism Grads Receive Misspelled Diplomas

Roughly 30 of the more than 250 diplomas handed out Saturday had the error

Monday, Jun 23, 2014  |  Updated 12:53 PM EDT
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Journalism Grads Receive Misspelled Diplomas

Kit Fox

It would appear students can now give Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism a notorious "Medill F" after a typo appeared on dozens of diplomas this weekend.

Roughly 30 of the more than 250 diplomas handed out Saturday had an error, a school official confirmed to NBC Chicago.

The typo was first reported by Kit Fox, who was at the ceremony but did not receive one of the misspelled diplomas. Fox took a photo of a friend's diploma, which had the word "integrated" spelled "itegrated," and tweeted it out.

Fox said students were viewing the error as "humorous."

"We all took it in good humor," he said. "We're all really aware of the 'Medill F' so the jokes came easy."

The "Medill F" is a school tradition that gives students a failing grade for a factual error or misspelling.

"Maybe it was one last-minute test for the grads to catch on their diplomas," Fox said, noting that the rule isn't quite as daunting as it sounds. 

"The best part about it is it seems really harsh when you come in as a freshman but what it’s really teaching you is really getting a 'Medill F' is smaller than getting a factual inaccuracy when you're out in the real world," he said.

Desiree Hanford, lecturer and director of undergraduate education at the school, said officials plan to issue new diplomas to the impacted students.

"The diplomas are issued by the university so we will work with the NU registrar's office Monday to provide new diplomas to these students," she said.

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