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University of Pittsburgh to replace 3,000 diplomas lost in flooding

| Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The University of Pittsburgh lost more than 3,000 diplomas in last week's flood.

Stored on the ground floor of Thackeray Hall, the diplomas for April graduates were awaiting delivery when Wednesday night's flood destroyed them. Official diplomas are not presented at graduation.

"I was wondering where my diploma was," said Marianne Vu, 23, who earned degrees in neuroscience and psychology. "I think it's crazy that they didn't notify us in any way about it."

A number of buildings on campus suffered "major" flood damage, according to a statement from the registrar's office.

Delivery of the diplomas will be delayed about 10 days, university spokesman John Fedele said. Pitt officials are double-checking name spellings so they can rush-order new diplomas and have them in the mail by July 2, he added.

"(It's) bizarre. ... It's an act of nature. We're just lucky it hasn't happened before," Fedele said.

He declined to reveal the financial loss to the university. Pitt's facilities director could not be reached for comment on whether the loss will be covered by insurance.

Printing and rush-ordering that many diplomas could cost $9,000 to $21,000, according to the Utah-based Michael Sutter Co., which is not working with Pitt.

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